724 F.3d 1050 (9th Cir. 2013), 10-17520, Voggenthaler v. Maryland Square LLC

Docket Nº:10-17520, 11-15174, 11-15176, 12-16409, 12-16412
Citation:724 F.3d 1050
Opinion Judge:SCHROEDER, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:PETER J. VOGGENTHALER; WILLIAM MONTERO; BARBARA MONTERO; CLIFFORD ROGERS; SHARON ROGERS; HERMANN ROSNER; MARCUS ROTHKRANZ; DANIEL SOLDINI; CHARLES WALKER; VERNA WALKER; JACK YENCHECK; OFELIA YENCHECK; RICHARD MALM; ROGER ELLSWORTH; JO ANN ELLSWORTH; MARGARET RUDELICH-HOPPE; PATRICIA MAHONEY; RICHARD FALEN; PETER LEARNED; KRISTIAN MEIER; ELIZA ACOST
Attorney:Alexander Robertson, IV and Jennifer L. Taylor, Robertson & Associates, LLP, Las Vegas, Nevada; Jan Adam Greben, Greben & Associates, Santa Barbara, California, for Plaintiffs-Appellees Peter J. Voggenthaler, et al. Catherine Cortez Masto, Attorney General, Carolyn E. Tanner (argued), Senior Depu...
Judge Panel:Before: Mary M. Schroeder, Sidney R. Thomas, and Barry G. Silverman, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:July 26, 2013
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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Page 1050

724 F.3d 1050 (9th Cir. 2013)

PETER J. VOGGENTHALER; WILLIAM MONTERO; BARBARA MONTERO; CLIFFORD ROGERS; SHARON ROGERS; HERMANN ROSNER; MARCUS ROTHKRANZ; DANIEL SOLDINI; CHARLES WALKER; VERNA WALKER; JACK YENCHECK; OFELIA YENCHECK; RICHARD MALM; ROGER ELLSWORTH; JO ANN ELLSWORTH; MARGARET RUDELICH-HOPPE; PATRICIA MAHONEY; RICHARD FALEN; PETER LEARNED; KRISTIAN MEIER; ELIZA ACOSTA; MIRHA ELIAS; AIKO BERGE; VICTOR BECERRA; ARTHUR BODENDORFER; BRENDA C. CHAFFIN; MICHAEL J. SOLMI; JASON COWLES; JANE GAUTHIER; HONORE GAUTHIER; NIKOLAS KONSTANTINOU; DRAGAN KURAJICA; KENNETH LOWTHER; JAMES LUEHMANN; JACQUELINE LUEHMANN; RUTH MANNHEIMER; STATE OF NEVADA, on behalf of Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, Division of Environmental Protection, Plaintiffs-Appellees,

v.

Maryland Square LLC, Defendant-Appellant,

And

MARYLAND SQUARE SHOPPING CENTER LLC; HERMAN KISHNER TRUST, DBA Maryland Square Shopping Center; IRWIN KISHNER; JERRY ENGEL; BANK OF AMERICA, NA, Trustee on behalf of Herman Kishner Trust; CLARK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT; MELVIN SHAPIRO; SHAPIRO BROTHERS INVESTMENT COMPANY, Defendants.

PETER J. VOGGENTHALER; WILLIAM MONTERO; BARBARA MONTERO; CLIFFORD ROGERS; SHARON ROGERS; HERMANN ROSNER; MARCUS ROTHKRANZ; DANIEL SOLDINI; CHARLES WALKER; VERNA WALKER; JACK YENCHECK; OFELIA YENCHECK; RICHARD MALM; ROGER ELLSWORTH; JO ANN ELLSWORTH; MARGARET RUDELICH-HOPPE; PATRICIA MAHONEY; RICHARD FALEN; PETER LEARNED; KRISTIAN MEIER; ELIZA ACOSTA; MIRHA ELIAS; AIKO BERGE; VICTOR BECERRA; ARTHUR BODENDORFER; BRENDA C. CHAFFIN; MICHAEL J. SOLMI; JASON COWLES; JANE GAUTHIER; HONORE GAUTHIER; NIKOLAS KONSTANTINOU; DRAGAN KURAJICA; KENNETH LOWTHER; JAMES LUEHMANN; JACQUELINE LUEHMANN; RUTH MANNHEIMER, Plaintiffs-Appellees,

MARYLAND SQUARE SHOPPING CENTER LLC, Trustee on behalf of Herman Kishner Trust, Defendant-Intervenor,

STATE OF NEVADA, on behalf of Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, Division of Environmental Protection, Plaintiff-Intervenor,

BANK OF AMERICA, NA, Trustee on behalf of Herman Kishner Trust; JERRY ENGEL, Trustee on behalf of Herman Kishner Trust; HERMAN KISHNER TRUST, Trustee on behalf of Herman Kishner Trust, DBA Maryland Square Shopping Center; IRWIN KISHNER, Trustee on behalf of Herman Kishner Trust, Defendants-Intervenors,

v.

SHAPIRO BROTHERS INVESTMENT COMPANY, Defendant-Appellant,

And

CLARK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT; MELVIN SHAPIRO; MARYLAND SQUARE LLC, Trustee on behalf of Herman Kishner Trust, Defendants.

PETER J. VOGGENTHALER; WILLIAM MONTERO; BARBARA MONTERO; CLIFFORD ROGERS; SHARON ROGERS; HERMANN ROSNER; MARCUS ROTHKRANZ; DANIEL SOLDINI; CHARLES WALKER; VERNA WALKER; JACK YENCHECK; OFELIA YENCHECK; RICHARD MALM; ROGER ELLSWORTH; JO ANN ELLSWORTH; MARGARET RUDELICH-HOPPE; PATRICIA MAHONEY; RICHARD FALEN; PETER LEARNED; KRISTIAN MEIER; ELIZA ACOSTA; MIRHA ELIAS; AIKO BERGE; VICTOR BECERRA; ARTHUR BODENDORFER; BRENDA C. CHAFFIN; MICHAEL J. SOLMI; JASON COWLES; JANE GAUTHIER; HONORE GAUTHIER; NIKOLAS KONSTANTINOU; DRAGAN KURAJICA; KENNETH LOWTHER; JAMES LUEHMANN; JACQUELINE LUEHMANN; RUTH MANNHEIMER; STATE OF NEVADA, on behalf of Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, Division of Environmental Protection, Plaintiffs,

v.

MARYLAND SQUARE SHOPPING CENTER LLC; HERMAN KISHNER TRUST, DBA Maryland Square Shopping Center; IRWIN KISHNER; JERRY ENGEL; BANK OF AMERICA, Trustee on behalf of Herman Kishner Trust, Defendants-Appellees,

v.

MELVIN SHAPIRO; SHAPIRO BROTHERS INVESTMENT COMPANY, Defendants-Appellants,

And

MARYLAND SQUARE LLC; CLARK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, Defendants.

PETER J. VOGGENTHALER; WILLIAM MONTERO; BARBARA MONTERO; CLIFFORD ROGERS; SHARON ROGERS; HERMANN ROSNER; MARCUS ROTHKRANZ; DANIEL SOLDINI; CHARLES WALKER; VERNA WALKER; JACK YENCHECK; OFELIA YENCHECK; RICHARD MALM; ROGER ELLSWORTH; JO ANN ELLSWORTH; MARGARET RUDELICH-HOPPE; PATRICIA MAHONEY; RICHARD FALEN; PETER LEARNED; KRISTIAN MEIER; ELIZA ACOSTA; MIRHA ELIAS; AIKO BERGE; VICTOR BECERRA; ARTHUR BODENDORFER; BRENDA C. CHAFFIN; MICHAEL J. SOLMI; JASON COWLES; JANE GAUTHIER; HONORE GAUTHIER; NIKOLAS KONSTANTINOU; DRAGAN KURAJICA; KENNETH LOWTHER; JAMES LUEHMANN; JACQUELINE LUEHMANN; RUTH MANNHEIMER, Plaintiffs,

And

TATE OF NEVADA, on behalf of Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, Division of Environmental Protection, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

MARYLAND SQUARE LLC; MARYLAND SQUARE SHOPPING CENTER LLC; HERMAN KISHNER TRUST, DBA Maryland Square Shopping Center; IRWIN KISHNER; JERRY ENGEL; BANK OF AMERICA, NA, Trustee on behalf of Herman Kishner Trust; CLARK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT; MELVIN SHAPIRO, Defendants, and SHAPIRO BROTHERS INVESTMENT COMPANY, Defendant-Appellant.

PETER J. VOGGENTHALER; WILLIAM MONTERO; BARBARA MONTERO; CLIFFORD ROGERS; SHARON ROGERS; HERMANN ROSNER; MARCUS ROTHKRANZ; DANIEL SOLDINI; CHARLES WALKER; VERNA WALKER; JACK YENCHECK; OFELIA YENCHECK; RICHARD MALM; ROGER ELLSWORTH; JO ANN ELLSWORTH; MARGARET RUDELICH-HOPPE; PATRICIA MAHONEY; RICHARD FALEN; PETER LEARNED; KRISTIAN MEIER; ELIZA ACOSTA; MIRHA ELIAS; AIKO BERGE; VICTOR BECERRA; ARTHUR BODENDORFER; BRENDA C. CHAFFIN; MICHAEL J. SOLMI; JASON COWLES; JANE GAUTHIER; HONORE GAUTHIER; NIKOLAS KONSTANTINOU; DRAGAN KURAJICA; KENNETH LOWTHER; JAMES LUEHMANN; JACQUELINE LUEHMANN; RUTH MANNHEIMER, Plaintiffs, and STATE OF NEVADA, on behalf of Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, Division of Environmental Protection, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

MARYLAND SQUARE LLC, Defendant-Appellant, and MARYLAND SQUARE SHOPPING CENTER LLC; HERMAN KISHNER TRUST, DBA Maryland Square Shopping Center; IRWIN KISHNER; JERRY ENGEL; BANK OF AMERICA, NA, Trustee on behalf of Herman Kishner Trust; CLARK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT; MELVIN SHAPIRO; SHAPIRO BROTHERS INVESTMENT COMPANY, Defendants

Nos. 10-17520, 11-15174, 11-15176, 12-16409, 12-16412

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

July 26, 2013

Argued and Submitted April 17, 2013, San Francisco, California

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Page 1054

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Nevada. D.C. Nos. 2:08-cv-01618-RCJ-GWF, 3:09-cv-00231-RCJ-GWF, Robert Clive Jones, Chief District Judge, Presiding.

Alexander Robertson, IV and Jennifer L. Taylor, Robertson & Associates, LLP, Las Vegas, Nevada; Jan Adam Greben, Greben & Associates, Santa Barbara, California, for Plaintiffs-Appellees Peter J. Voggenthaler, et al.

Catherine Cortez Masto, Attorney General, Carolyn E. Tanner (argued), Senior Deputy Attorney General, and Jasmine K. Mehta (argued), Deputy Attorney General, Carson City, Nevada, for Plaintiff-Intervenor-Appellee Nevada Division of Environmental Protection.

Thomas Vandenburg, Joshua Levine, Christopher Smith and John A. Lawrence (argued), Dongell Lawrence Finney, LLP, Los Angeles, California, for Defendants-Iintervenors-Appellees Maryland Square Shopping Center, LLC, et al.

Jeremy Gilman and Gregory J. Lucht (argued), Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff, LLP, Cleveland, Ohio; Jeffrey T. Oberman, Levin & Oberman, Beverly Hills, California, for Defendants-Appellants Melvin Shapiro and Shapiro Brothers Investment Co.

Franklin H. Levy and Joshua M.D. Segal (argued), Lawson & Weitzen, LLP, Boston, Massachusetts; Shan Davis, Shan Davis & Associates, Las Vegas, Nevada, for Defendant-Appellant Maryland Square, LLC.

Before: Mary M. Schroeder, Sidney R. Thomas, and Barry G. Silverman, Circuit Judges.

SUMMARY[*]

Environmental Law

The panel affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court's judgments in litigation under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act concerning seepage of a toxic dry cleaning chemical into the ground under a Las Vegas shopping center.

The district court granted summary judgment in favor of neighboring homeowners who sought injunctive relief against the property owners of the shopping center and operators of the dry cleaning facility. The district court also granted summary judgment in favor of the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, which sought to recover its cleanup costs. The panel largely affirmed the district court's judgments. It affirmed the district court's rejection of the contention that application of CERCLA to soil and groundwater contamination that occurred solely in Nevada violated the Commerce Clause.

The panel vacated the grant of summary judgment under CERCLA against the current owner and remanded so that the owner might have an opportunity to make the additional showing that would be necessary to establish that it met an exception to CERCLA liability for bona fide prospective purchasers. The panel reversed on procedural grounds the grant of summary judgment under RCRA against the current owner and the operators because those defendants did not have an adequate opportunity to respond to plaintiffs' claims. The panel reversed the grant of summary judgment against a guarantor because there was no evidence of spills during the term of his guaranty.

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OPINION

SCHROEDER, Circuit Judge.

Two environmental statutes everyone loves to hate are the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (" CERCLA" ) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (" RCRA" ). In combination, they make owners of contaminated property and contributors to contamination responsible for cleaning up toxic waste, and, if someone else cleans up the waste, liable for the costs of that clean up. This litigation illustrates the point. It involves seepage over several decades of a toxic dry cleaning chemical into the ground under a Las Vegas shopping...

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