Today, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in CTS Corp. v. Waldburger et al., No.13-339 (June 9, 2014) (slip op.) [link], in which it held that CERCLA section 309, 42 U.S.C. § 9658, does not preempt statutes of repose, reversing the Fourth Circuit.  Section 9658(a) preempts state law statutes of limitation for personal injury and property damage claims related to the release of a hazardous substance.  Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, reaffirmed the oft-repeated “presumption against preemption” in reasoning that Section 9658 does not preempt state statutes of repose.  Statutes of limitations bar claims after a specified period of time based on when the claim accrued, whereas statutes of repose bar suits brought after a specified time since the defendant acted, regardless of whether the plaintiff has discovered the resulting injury.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Finds that CERCLA Does Not Preempt Statutes of Repose