UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
October 16, 2009
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL, PLAINTIFFS,
STERLING CENTRECORP INC., STEPHEN P. ELDER, AND ELDER DEVELOPMENT, INC., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morrison C. England, Jr. United States District Judge
This is an action brought by Plaintiffs pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA"), 42 U.S.C. § 9601, et seq., seeking, inter alia, the recovery of response costs related to the release of hazardous substances from the Lava Cap Mine Superfund Site. By Order dated March 24, 2009, this Court bifurcated the case into two phases. Phase 1 is limited to discovery and trial as to the Court's jurisdiction over Defendant Sterling, as well as whether Defendants bear any liability under CERCLA.
Phase 2, if necessary, will address the extent of Plaintiffs' entitlement to the response costs being sought, as well as any statute of limitations defenses to those potential damages.
Presently before the Court is Defendant Sterling's Motion for Leave to File a First Amended Answer which incorporates a counterclaim against Plaintiff United States that was not set forth in Sterling's original answer. Defendant Sterling has also filed a second motion seeking to assign that counterclaim to Phase 2 of this litigation.
On September 25, 2009, the United States filed a Notice of Non-Opposition to both of Sterling's Motions. Given that non-opposition, and good causing appearing therefor, Defendant Sterling's Motion for Leave to File First Amended Answer (Docket No. 33) and its Motion to Assign Counterclaim to Phase 2 of this litigation (Docket No. 36) are hereby GRANTED.*fn1 Accordingly, the October 15, 2009 motions hearing is vacated.
IT IS SO ORDERED.