Blum and Poppler Achieve Important Appellate Victory in High-Stakes CERCLA Case

San Francisco, CA, April 3, 2015 - Fred M. Blum and Erin K. Poppler, partners at Bassi Edlin Huie & Blum, won an important appellate victory for their client, Texas Eastern Overseas (TEO) on Thursday, April 2. In its appellate opinion, the Ninth Circuit vacated the more than $10M judgment against TEO. This opinion relieves TEO and its insurers of the purported claims plaintiff AmeriPride Services Inc. (AmeriPride) made against them. The case is now remanded back to the district court to:

  • Explain the equitable factors it considered in allocating the $3.25 million AmeriPride received in settlement monies.
  • Determine the extent to which the $10.25 million AmeriPride paid in settlement monies was to reimburse costs that complied with CERCLA's National Contingency Plan requirements.
  • Recalculate when interest began to accrue on the judgment.

This was a complete victory for TEO and should have the effect of reducing TEO's liability to AmeriPride by millions of dollars. The decision was also significant because it means that district courts now have the authority to determine what method to use when allocating responsibility for settlement costs related to contamination cleanup in environmental litigation.

About Fred M. Blum

Fred M. Blum has 30+ years of environmental litigation and appellate experience. He has been lead counsel in hundreds of matters, including cases involving environmental, product liability, employment and constitutional law. He has filed briefs and argued before all federal and state courts, including an en banc hearing before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Fred is a 1978 graduate of the University of California, Davis and he received his J.D. in 1981 from Whittier College School of Law.

About Erin K. Poppler

Erin K. Poppler's diverse litigation practice is focused on environmental law, toxic tort, business litigation, and product liability. She has extensive courtroom experience, which includes serving as second-chair on the trial team that achieved the appellate victory described in this news release. Erin graduated with honors from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in rhetoric and political science. She received her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

About Bassi Edlin Huie & Blum

Founded by trial lawyers Bassi Edlin Huie & Blum specializes in complex litigation. The firm's Law & Motion Department delivers hard-hitting work product that frequently results in dismissals. With more than 100 trials to verdict, 100+ appeals and thousands of mediations, BEHB offers clients the unique blend of large firm experience and small firm agility. With every matter, the firm strives to achieve early resolution while keeping costs under control for its clients. Visit behblaw.com to learn more.

Media Contact: Jen Ruppert | phone: 415-515-2070 | email: jruppert@behblaw.com