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Ninth Circuit on CERCLA "arranger liability"

NAM Legal Beagle on Shell Oil v. U.S., a Ninth Circuit case before the Supreme Court:

The Ninth Circuit decided that a manufacturer of a hazardous substance is jointly and severally liable under CERCLA for any spill or misuse of the product by a third party after the substance has left the custody and control of the manufacturer. However, the product in question was sold as a useful commercial product to a third party, and not as hazardous waste. The seller relinquished control at the point of delivery, and the material subsequently leaked and contaminated some soil. The Ninth Circuit's ruling means that a seller of a useful product that may be hazardous has actually "arranged for the disposal" of the product within the meaning of CERCLA, and is thus liable for the cleanup costs.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.