Willamette Law Online

United States Supreme Court Certiorari Granted


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CTS Corporation v. Waldburger

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: January 10, 2014
Case #: 13-339
723 F.3d 434
Full Text Opinion: http://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Published/121290.P.pdf

Preemption: Whether the preemption provision of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 9658, applies to state statutes of repose as well as the state statutes of limitations.

Respondent brought a nuisance action against Petitioner because of the presence of carcinogens in Respondent's well water. The trial court held that Respondent was barred by the statute of limitations. The Fourth Circuit reversed, remanded and held that 42 U.S.C. § 9658 preempted the state statute of repose. Under 42 U.S.C. § 9658, a statute of limitation period must meet two conditions: (1) "applicable limitations period" that is “specified in the State statute of limitations or under common law” and (2) “provide a commencement date which is earlier than the federally required commencement date.” The court held that a statute of repose can satisfy these elements and thus 42 U.S.C. § 9658 applies to both a statute of limitations and a statute of repose. 

The Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide whether the preemption provision of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. § 9658, applies to state statutes of repose as well as the state statutes of limitations.