CBS successful on appeal in almost decade-long suit based on allegations of environmental contamination
Clients CBS Corporation
Jones Day successfully represented CBS Corporation, as the successor to Westinghouse Electric Corporation, in a suit by Kennedy Building Associates based on allegations of environmental contamination at a site in Minneapolis, Minnesota that Westinghouse owned until 1980, which included three appeals to the Eighth Circuit over the course of almost a decade.
Following a jury trial in 2002, the district court entered judgment against CBS on one of KBA's common law claims and three environmental statutory claims, awarded compensatory and punitive damages, response costs, and attorneys' fees in favor of KBA, and entered an injunction against CBS requiring it to remediate the property. In 2004, the Eighth Circuit reversed the judgment on the common law claim and the damages award and remanded the injunction to be rewritten and the attorneys' fees award to be modified.
The district court revised the injunction in 2006 to require CBS to implement a state administrative order's remediation requirements, to test contamination at the property and engage in further remediation if certain contingent events occur, and to post a bond in the amount of $1,311,000.00 to ensure future compliance with the injunction's contingent requirements. In 2007, the Eighth Circuit again remanded part of the injunction for further modification.
The district court then entered a modified injunction providing that CBS has substantially performed the remediation requirements imposed on it by the state administrative order, but maintaining the requirements that CBS must test contamination at the property and engage in further remediation if certain contingent events occur. The district court otherwise denied KBA's motions to modify the injunction, to increase the bond amount to $4,942,607.00, and to award response costs of $59,448.61. KBA appealed the order modifying the injunction and denying its motions.
On August 18, 2009, the Eighth Circuit issued a decision that affirmed the order as to the modified injunction and bond amount but vacated the order as to KBA's request for response costs and remanded to the district court for clarification and/or reconsideration of the district court's basis for denying KBA's request for an award of response costs. On remand, acting pursuant to the Eighth Circuit's mandate, the district court again denied KBA's motion to award response costs entirely.
Kennedy Building Associates v. CBS Corp., 576 F.3d 872 (8th Cir. 2009); Kennedy Building Associates v. CBS Corp., 476 F.3d 530 (8th Cir. 2007); Kennedy Building Associates v. Viacom, Inc., 375 F.3d 731 (8th Cir. 2004)