Enacted in 1980 – Cold War 3. Retroactive a. Can hold past offenders responsible 4. Strict 5. Joint and several: everyone who owns it is on the hook 6. All $$ acquired through sanctions goes to trust fund/cleanup 7. Corporate officers subject to personal liability 8. Joint ventures: both may be liable
9. Construction companies may be held liable a. Banks and owner operators as well 10. Citizen lawsuits allowed 11. How might CERCLA affect real property owners a. Might want to look twice at property being sold quickly b. Ask about contamination b. Toxic Torts i. Legal theories 1. Negligence: duty, breach, injury, proximate cause 2. Strict product liability: defective product, unreasonably dangerous, product caused injury, product unchanged a. Easier to prove than negligence ii. Causation is difficult to prove iii. Punitive damages – awarded when defendant has exhibited willful and wanton conduct; knowing and deliberately exposing plaintiffs to toxins 1. Criminal negligence 2. Extreme recklessness c. Natural Resources i. Definition 1. Delicate balance between use of resources and preservation of resources 2. Forests are essential for healthy ecosystems-old growth trees can be hundreds of years old 3. Wetlands prevent soil erosion and help divert flood waters – home to 1/3 endangered species in US 4. Estuaries provide natural defense against hurricane waters ii. Legislation 1. Marine protection, research and sanctuaries act a. Designates areas as marine sanctuaries 2. Coastal zone management act a. Limits land use; protects beaches; controls coastal erosion 3. Estuary restoration act a. Focused on restoring estuary lands 4. Wilderness act a. Preservation of land and natural habitat b. Pulls national parks into focus d. Current Issues i. Climate change – hard to make laws, hurts huge industries 1. State legislation and int’l agreements ii. Energy concerns – Energy Policy Act (2005), Energy Independence and Security Act (2007); (American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (2009) iii. Endangered Species Act 1. Provides legal protection for plant and animal species that are being driven into extinction 2. Threatened species 3. Not all countries follow this
e. Environmental Ethics i. Human v. Nature 1. Human more important ii. Do we have a moral obligation to the environment, future gen? iii. Humans are only species capable of acting ethically iv. How do we assign a value to the environment? 1. Possible but difficult 2. Cost of cleaning up, replacing 3. Assigning a value to a polar bear a. Range of $30,000 - $10,000,000 v. Do humans have a need for nature, and if so, does that imply an obligation to preserve it? 1. Yes, and yes vi. History reveals that humans tend to trash nature. Should we clean up the mess? Can we? 9. Cases a. Gordon v. Bialystoker (ch13-14) i. GIFT ii. Ida was sick and in the hospital, needed to be transferred iii. Ida gave money to nursing home employee in form of a check iv. She gave more money to the nursing home then gave them right to money when she died v. Ida DID NOT have capacity to give the money freely or voluntarily, unreasonable gift vi.
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- Spring '08