United States District Court, E.D. California
September 15, 2014
CHEVRON ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COMPANY AND CHEVRON USA, Plaintiff,
BKK CORPORATION, Defendants.
ORDER TO ADOPT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
LAWRENCE J. O'NEILL, District Judge.
On June 30, 2014, Plaintiffs Chevron Environmental Management Company and Chevron USA ("Plaintiffs") filed Motions for Good Faith Settlement Determination requesting approval of individual settlements and barring future claims against Defendants Golden Gate Petroleum Co. (Doc. 185) and M.P. Environmental and MP Vacuum (Doc. 186).
On August 5, 2014, Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe issued Findings and Recommendations that the Motions for Good Faith Settlement Determination be GRANTED. (Docs. 188 & 189). On August 19, 2014, Plaintiffs filed a stipulation to clarify statements appearing in both documents regarding the ownership of the disposal facility site that is the subject of the lawsuit. (Doc. 190). Judge McAuliffe approved the stipulation on August 21, 2014. (Doc. 191).
The Findings and Recommendations were served on all parties and contained notice that any objections were to be filed within fifteen (15) days of the date of service. More than fifteen (15) days have passed and no objections have been filed. In accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636 (b)(1)(C), this Court has conducted a de novo review of the case. Having carefully reviewed the file, the Court finds that the Findings and Recommendations are supported by the record and proper analysis. As discussed in more detail in the Findings and Recommendations, the Settlement Agreements are fair and reasonable, as measured against the standards adopted by the California Supreme Court in Tech-Bilt, Inc. v. Woodward-Clyde & Associates, 38 Cal.3d 488, 499 (1985).
This Court also finds that the Settlement Agreements are consistent with the objectives of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act ("CERCLA"). "Aside from the timely cleanup of polluted sites and imposing liability on responsible parties, one of the core purposes of CERCLA is to foster settlement through its system of incentives and without unnecessarily further complicating already complicated litigation." Chubb Custom Ins. Co. v. Space Sys./Loral, Inc., 710 F.3d 946, 971 (9th Cir. 2013) (internal quotations omitted). The Settlement Agreements at issue here serve this purpose because they resolve CERCLA and state law claims in a manner that is fair, reasonable and not objected to by any party to this litigation, while conserving the resources of the federal judiciary.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. The Findings and Recommendations issued August 5, 2014 (Docs. 188 & 189), and modified on August 21, 2014 (Doc. 191) are ADOPTED IN FULL; and
2. Plaintiffs' Motions for Good Faith Settlement Determination (Docs. 185 & 186) are GRANTED;
3. Any and all claims for equitable comparative contribution, and partial and complete comparative indemnity, based on comparative negligence or comparative fault, against Defendants Golden Gate Petroleum Co. and M.P. Environmental and MP Vacuum are forever barred pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure §877.6 (c);
DISMISSED with prejudice;
5. The Clerk of the Court is DIRECTED to terminate docket numbers 185 & 186.
IT IS SO ORDERED.