July 23, 2015 Articles

How to Minimize the Risk of Arranger Liability

Lessons learned from recent cases.

By John J. DiChello – July 23, 2015

Companies in the business of selling products containing hazardous substances, particularly used or old products, or that have acquired businesses with historical practices or properties involving the sale, storage, or disposal of such products or substances, may be confronted with a slew of legal claims if the substances somehow are discharged into the environment. Few claims, however, keep general counsel for such companies up at night more than a claim for cost recovery or contribution based on “arranger liability” under section 107(a)(3) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. § 9607(a)(3). This is so because a party found liable as an arranger under CERCLA may be required to pay millions of dollars in response costs and natural resources damages.

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