recent_results_logo-new-smallAssociate Jennifer N. Rankin and partner Karen P. Agelson recently obtained judgment in favor of the firm's client, a manufacturer of valve components, in a multi-party complex environmental groundwater contamination case which has recently garnered media attention in Orange County.

Plaintiff, the Orange County Water District, sued the client for alleged volatile organic compound ("VOC") contamination at a site it previously owned and operated between approximately 1954 and 1972. Plaintiff asserted claims for negligence, trespass, nuisance, and declaratory relief and also sought recovery under the Orange County Water District Act and the Hazardous Substances Account Act (California Superfund Act).

Documents produced in the case indicated that the client used certain VOCs at the site during its occupancy; however, there was no evidence to indicate the client actually ever caused a release of contaminants at the site.

Through a series of successful motions for summary adjudication, WFBM established that the client was not subject to the California Superfund Act, plaintiff had no standing to bring claims for nuisance or cost recovery under the Orange County Water District Act, and plaintiff's negligence claim was time barred by the statute of limitations. Judgment was entered in favor of the client dismissing all of plaintiff's claims and awarding the client its costs.