Andrews Litigation Reporter
"Cooper Industries v. Availl: The Aftermath,"
In December 2004 the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Cooper Industires v. Availl Services that the plain language of Section 113(f)(1) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act ("the Act") does not allow liable parties to bring contribution actions unless and until a related civil action is brought under either Section 106 or 107 of the Act. The Court reserved judgment on, and remanded to the lower federal courts, the question of whether liable parties who are not authorized to pursue contribution under Section 113(f) may, instead, seek equivalent relief under Section 107, as either standard cost-recovery claims or as "implied" contribution claims.
This article reports on the aftermath of the Cooper Industries decision and examines issues that counsel should consider when advising a potentially responsible party in the uncertain regulatory climate post-Cooper Industries.