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Complete Dismissal of Environmental Claims against Product Manufacturer Obtained

Claims for environmental contamination against product manufacturers have become increasingly popular and are costly to defend. Foley, Baron & Metzger attorneys Richard S. Baron and Brian Phinney recently obtained a complete dismissal of claims against a product manufacturer by a corporate landowner seeking damages for environmental remediation costs. The landowner alleged that FBM’s client, a manufacturer of commercial equipment used by a tenant, was responsible for causing contamination. Property owners often find their property contaminated by their tenants’ operations. While tenants can be liable for causing contamination, FBM persuaded the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California that a product manufacturer which has no control over environmental contamination caused by a tenant cannot be held liable under CERCLA, RCRA or common law tort claims.