Court Grants Contractor’s Partial Summary Judgement Motion in King Gold Mine Case
In an opinion and order released on November 21, 2022, the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico overseeing litigation arising from the Gold King Mine spill granted a defendant-contractor’s partial summary judgement motion seeking dismissal of claims that it was liable under CERCLA as a transporter, operator, or arranger. In re Gold King Mine Release, No. 1:18-md-02824-WJ, 2022 WL 17093503, at *1 (D. N.M. Nov. 21, 2022). The court held that one of the contractor defendants, Weston Solutions, Inc. (“Weston”), was not subject to CERCLA liability because it only assisted with operating the water management system rather than controlling any operations related to the release of contaminant from the King Gold Mine (“Mine”). Id. This decision follows the court’s earlier denial of a Motion to Dismiss in which the court held that the plaintiffs adequately pled operator, arranger, and transporter liability. In re Gold King Mine Release, No. 1:18-md-02824-WJ, 2019 WL 1282997, at *2-4 (D. N.M. Mar. 20, 2019) (slip opn.). Our blog post discussing the court’s first holding on this issue can be found here.
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