Liability Can Take Its Toll on Manufacturers

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Courtesy of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

Toll manufacturing is an important component of the domestic manufacturing sector, but the parties involved are not always aware of who bears the burden of liability when things go awry. Federal case law makes it clear that the toll manufacturer is not solely responsible for contamination in all cases; the company contracting with the toll manufacturer also may be liable. Therefore, it is crucial for a company using a toller to clearly understand its potential liability for any contamination that might arise during the toll manufacturing process.

Consult CERCLA

The federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) establishes a liability regime that identifies several classes of entities that are strictly, jointly and separately, and retroactively liable for the damage that arises from contaminated industrial sites. The classes of entities include the current owner of the contaminated property; the owner of the contaminated property at the time the hazardous substance was disposed of; persons who arranged for the disposal of the hazardous substance at the property; and transporters who selected the site to which the hazardous substance was transported. State laws that are similar to CERCLA are interpreted in the same manner.

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