Plaskon Electronic Materials v. Allied-Signal

Decision Date12 October 1995
Docket NumberNo. 3:92 CV 7572.,3:92 CV 7572.
CourtU.S. District Court — Northern District of West Virginia
PartiesPLASKON ELECTRONIC MATERIALS, INC., Plaintiff, v. ALLIED-SIGNAL, INC., et al., Defendants.




Charles Randolph Light, Rohrbacher, Nicholson & Light, Toledo, OH, for Plaskon Electronic Materials, Inc., Rohm and Haas Delaware, Inc., Rohm & Haas Company.

Randall W. Knutti, Christopher R. Schraff, Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur, Columbus, OH, James V. Maher, Allied-Signal, Inc., Law Department, Morristown, NJ, for Allied-Signal, Inc.

Reginald S. Jackson, Jr., Connelly, Soutar & Jackson, Toledo, OH, Robert P. LoBue, Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler, New York City, for Hillside Capital Incorporated, Hillside Industries Incorporated, Hillside Delaware Incorporated, PLK Liquidating Corp.

John C. Barron, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, Toledo, OH, Peter C. John, Hedlund, Hanley & John, Chicago, IL, for Trinova Corporation.

Douglas G. Haynam, Fuller & Henry, Toledo, OH, for Libbey Owens Ford Co.


KATZ, District Judge.


This case is before the Court on the following motions and responses:

(1) Joint motion for summary judgment of defendants Allied-Signal, Inc. ("Allied-Signal"), Libbey Owens Ford Co. ("LOF") and Trinova Corporation ("Trinova"). Plaintiff Plaskon Electronic Materials, Inc. ("PEMCO") opposes this motion, Allied-Signal, LOF and Trinova filed a joint reply, and Allied-Signal and LOF also filed their own individual replies.
(2) Joint motion for summary judgment of defendants Allied-Signal, Hillside Capital Inc. ("Hillside Capital"), Hillside Industries Inc. ("Hillside Industries"), Hillside Delaware Inc. ("Hillside Delaware") (collectively, these parties will be referred to as the "Hillside Defendants"), PLK Liquidating Corp. ("PLK"), Trinova, and LOF. PEMCO opposes this motion, and Allied-Signal, the Hillside Defendants, PLK, Trinova and LOF filed a joint reply.
(3) Motion for summary judgment of PEMCO against Allied-Signal and PLK. The Hillside Defendants and PLK opposes this motion, and PEMCO filed a reply.
(4) Motion for summary judgment of the Hillside Defendants and PLK. PEMCO and Allied-Signal, in separate memoranda, oppose this motion, the Hillside Defendants and PLK filed a joint reply, and Allied-Signal, at the Court's request, filed a surreply.
(5) Motion for summary judgment of LOF. Trinova and PEMCO oppose this motion, and LOF filed a reply.

This Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act ("CERCLA"), 42 U.S.C. § 9601, et seq.


This is an environmental case in which the parties contest liability for the cleanup costs associated with a particular site. The site at issue is located at 2829 Glendale Avenue in Toledo, Ohio, and will be referred to throughout this opinion as "the Site." The Site was used to manufacture plastic and epoxy molding compounds. It was originally owned by the Libbey Owens Ford Glass Company from 1943 to 1953. Manufacturing operations did not begin on the Site until 1947, when construction of the original plant was completed.

In 1953, Libbey Owens Ford Company sold the Site and the attendant operations to Allied Chemical and Dye Corporation. After obtaining the Site in 1953, Allied Chemical and Dye Corporation changed its name to Allied Chemical Corporation. It operated the Site for 26 years and engaged in the production of numerous molding compounds, plasticizers and polyester resins. In 1979, Plaskon Products, Inc. ("PPI") purchased the Site from Allied Chemical. PPI is a subsidiary of Defendant Hillside Industries, Inc. After the sale, Allied Chemical Corporation changed its name to Allied-Signal, Inc.

In 1980, Plaskon Electronic Materials, Inc. ("PEMCO") was established as a wholly owned subsidiary of PPI for the purposes of manufacturing semiconductor-related products and "446" polyester at the Site. At this time, PPI was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hillside Industries, Inc., which, in turn, was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hillside Capital, Inc. Like Hillside Industries, Inc., Hillside Capital, Inc. is also a Defendant in this litigation.

PPI leased portions of the Site to PEMCO, which operated the semiconductor. In 1984, PEMCO's stock was sold to Plaskon Holding, Inc., another subsidiary of Hillside Industries, Inc. After the sale, Plaskon Holding, Inc. changed its name to Hillside Delaware, Inc., a Defendant in this litigation. Later in 1984, Plaskon Holdings, Inc. sold the stock in PEMCO to Rohm and Haas Delaware, Inc. Thus, PEMCO became a wholly owned subsidiary of Rohm and Haas Delaware, which is, in turn, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rohm and Haas Company, a large, publicly traded chemical manufacturer with its principal place of business in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In conjunction with the sale, Plaskon Products, Inc. changed its name to PLK Liquidating, a defendant in this action. It retains corporate existence today as a subsidiary of Hillside Industries, Inc., but has not had any active operations since 1983. The term "PLK" is used throughout the remainder of this Memorandum Opinion to refer to Defendants PLK Liquidating Corporation and its predecessor in interest, PPI.

After the acquisition by Rohm and Haas Delaware, PEMCO continued its chemical manufacturing operations at the Site until 1991, at which time manufacturing operations in Toledo were terminated and transferred to a new plant in Singapore. After closing its manufacturing operations in Toledo and terminating the remaining PEMCO employees, the structures located at the Site were demolished.


As an initial matter, the Court sets forth the relative burdens of the parties once a motion for summary judgment is made. Summary judgment must be entered "against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2552, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). Of course, the moving party always bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any," which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. 477 U.S. at 323, 106 S.Ct. at 2553. The burden then shifts to the nonmoving party who "must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2511, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)).

Once the burden of production has so shifted, the party opposing summary judgment cannot rest on its pleadings or merely reassert its previous allegations. It is not sufficient to "simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 1356, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986). Rather, Rule 56(e) "requires the nonmoving party to go beyond the unverified pleadings" and present some type of evidentiary material in support of its position. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 324, 106 S.Ct. at 2553. Summary judgment shall be rendered if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).


Defendants Allied-Signal, TRINOVA and LOF move for summary judgment on the counterclaim that PEMCO is jointly and severally liable for response costs associated with the cleanup of contamination caused by the release of hazardous substances at the Site. PEMCO argues that, while it is the current owner of the Site, it is not jointly and severally liable under 107(a) of CERCLA.

Initially, PEMCO notes that it does not object to the contention that it is a current owner of the Site, and therefore, that it is a responsible party under § 107(a)(1) and the doctrine of strict liability. PEMCO, however, opposes any claim that is jointly and severally liable for all of the response costs at the Site.

In its reply brief to PEMCO's opposition to the motion for summary judgment, LOF raises the argument that PEMCO's action cannot be brought under § 107(a) of CERCLA, but instead must be brought under § 113(f) of CERCLA. Subsequently, LOF filed a notice of supplemental authorities supporting its position, PEMCO responded and LOF replied to the response. For the reasons set forth below, this Court is convinced that LOF is correct, and that, regardless of how it is pled, PEMCO's only action is a § 113(f) contribution action.

1. Applicable Statutory Provisions

Section 107(a) of CERCLA states, in pertinent part:

Notwithstanding any other provision or rule of law, and subject only to the defenses set forth in subsection (b) of this section
(1) the owner and operator of a vessel or a facility,
(2) any person who at the time of disposal of any hazardous substance owned or operated any facility at which such hazardous substances were disposed of,
(3) any person who by contract, agreement, or otherwise arranged for disposal or treatment, or arranged with a transporter for transport for disposal or treatment, of hazardous substances owned or possessed by such person, by any other party or entity, at any facility or incineration vessel owned or operated by another party or entity and containing such hazardous substances, and
(4) any

To continue reading

Request your trial
176 cases
  • Hamilton v. Gansheimer, No. 1:06 CV 2317.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Ohio
    • February 27, 2008
    ...and (3) the need to correct clear error or to prevent manifest injustice. Id. (citing Plaskon Electronic Materials, Incorporated, v. Allied-Signal, Inc., 904 F.Supp. 644, 669 (N.D.Ohio 1995))(citing Bermingham v. Sony Corporation of America, Incorporated, 820 F.Supp. 834, 856 (D.N.J.1992), ......
  • Borough of Sayreville v. Union Carbide Corp.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of New Jersey
    • April 10, 1996
    ...(N.D.Ohio 1996); Saco Steel Co. v. Saco Defense, Inc., 910 F.Supp. 803, 809 n. 7 (D.Me.1995); Plaskon Elec. Materials, Inc. v. Allied-Signal, Inc., 904 F.Supp. 644, 651-52 (N.D.Ohio 1995); New Castle County v. Halliburton NUS Corp., 903 F.Supp. 771, 779-80 (D.Del.1995); Hydro-Mfg., Inc. v. ......
  • Freeport-McMoran Resource Partners v. B-B Paint
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Michigan
    • July 16, 1999
    ...460 (6th Cir.1986); Biechele v. Cedar Point, Inc., 747 F.2d 209, 215 (6th Cir.1984)); see also Plaskon Electronic Materials, Inc. v. Allied-Signal Inc., 904 F.Supp. 644, 663-64 (N.D.Ohio 1995) (applying the rule in the context of a CERCLA Accordingly, the Court will grant certain defendants......
  • Derby City Capital, LLC v. Trinity HR Servs.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of Kentucky
    • August 20, 2013
    ...and sparingly granted.” Marshall v. Johnson, 2007 WL 1175046, at *2 (W.D.Ky. Apr. 19, 2007) (citing Plaskon Elec. Materials, Inc. v. Allied–Signal, Inc., 904 F.Supp. 644, 669 (N.D.Ohio 1995)); accord Rottmund v. Cont'l Assurance Co., 813 F.Supp. 1104, 1107 (E.D.Pa.1992).DISCUSSION Despite b......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
3 books & journal articles
  • CERCLA Liability
    • United States
    • Superfund Deskbook -
    • August 11, 2014
    ...Tanglewood E. Homeowners v. Charles-homas, Inc., 849 F.2d 1568 (5th Cir. 1988); Plaskon Elec. Materials, Inc. v. Allied-Signal, Inc., 904 F. Supp. 644 (N.D. Ohio 1995). 22. See United States v. Rohm & Haas Co., 2 F.3d 1265 (3d Cir. 1993), overruled by 432 F.3d 161 (3d Cir. 2005). 23. See Li......
  • CERCLA: convey to a pauper and avoid cost recovery under section 107(a) (1)?
    • United States
    • Environmental Law Vol. 33 No. 2, March 2003
    • March 22, 2003
    ...are liable only if they owned or operated the facility at the time of disposal); Plaskon Elec. Materials, Inc. v. Allied-Signal, Inc., 904 F. Supp. 644, 661 (N.D. Ohio 1995) (holding that speculation that a spill occurred during defendant's ownership was not sufficient to impose liability);......
  • CHAPTER § 6.02 Piercing the Corporate Veil
    • United States
    • Full Court Press Regulation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Title CHAPTER 6 Veil Piercing, Direct Parent Liability, and Successor Liability
    • Invalid date
    ...WL 150489, at *3 (D. Mass. Dec. 12, 1988).[71] W. M. Fletcher, § 41.33; see also Plaskon Elec. Materials, Inc. v. Allied-Signal, Inc., 904 F. Supp. 644, 656-57 (N.D. Ohio 1995) (Delaware law) (applying veil-piercing analysis to determine operator liability under Comprehensive Environmental ......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT