The Eastern District of California recently examined the sufficiency of an insurer’s complaint for subrogation against two potentially responsible parties (“PRPs”) for cleanup costs paid by the insurer. The PRPs argued that the insurer’s complaint failed to state a claim because it did not contain an allegation stating that its insured made a “formal” claim against the PRPs. The court rejected the PRPs’ argument and clarified what an insurer (and its insured) must do to preserve subrogation rights under CERCLA Section 112(c).

In Carolina Casualty Ins. Co. v. Oahu Air Conditioning Service, Inc., et al., Civ. No. 2:13-1378 WBS AC (E.D. Cal. January 28, 2014), the plaintiff insurance company sued two defendants it alleged were PRPs for a hazardous waste spill. The dispute stemmed from the delivery of a trailer containing hazardous refrigerant waste oil to a disposal site in Sacramento, Calif. The trailer later caught fire and released hazardous vapors and contaminated water runoff into the environment.