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Marten Law Secures Victory for Mining Client on Issues of First Impression in CERCLA Appeal

August 28, 2014

(Seattle, WA) - A favorable ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has reinstated a $500 million claim of Marten Law’s client, ASARCO, under CERCLA at the Coeur D’Alene Superfund Site.

The case ruled in favor of ASARCO on all three issues before the court, including two issues of first impression: the standards for “relation back” under FRCP 15(c), and the trigger for CERCLA’s statute of limitations under section 113. First, the court ruled that under FRCP 15(c) an amended complaint can “relate back” to the date of the original complaint even where the first amended complaint includes allegations that are disclaimed in an original complaint. Second, the court held that the statute of limitations under CERCLA begins running after the day of a triggering event, consistent with FRCP 6(a). The court also reversed the district court’s ruling that a settlement between ASARCO and the defendant barred the claims in the lawsuit.

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