analysis of the Princeton and Clinton County decisions, explicitly noting that the ThirdCircuit had reversed itself in Clinton County. However, the article expresses the view,
shared by other commentators, that “the
Princeton decision and its modified version aregrounded in definitive policy rationale that the Clinton County court evidently
UCLA Article at 6 of 14). The article further concludes that
ClintonCounty court made far-reaching presumptions and asserted inconsistent arguments,rendering it an
internally flawed opinion.”
The clear inference, therefore, is that the failure
of plaintiffs’ counsel
note the Third Circuit’s later reversal
of its prior Princeton decision on this particular issuewas unintentional since, if such an oversight had been deliberate, p
laintiffs’ counsel would
never have referred the Court to a scholarly article that extensively discussed (andcriticized) this later decision.
Plaintiffs’ counsel’s intention here was to argue that, despite the fact that
Princetonhad been reversed in a Circuit other than the one where the instant case is pending, thePrinceton case analysis of Section 113(h) was the better reasoned approach, as well asmore consistent with public policy considerations, in that it afforded citizens at least some judicial recourse during the course of an ongoing environmental clean-up when theremediation itself was creating the public health hazard.
While the Clinton County case most certainly have been cited
in plaintiffs’ memo
of law, the
Third Circuit’s decision in that case could not have risen to the level of binding
Even federal district courts have made the honest mistake of citing to the Princeton case even after theClinton County case was decided by the Third Circuit. For example, in United States v. Iron MountainMines, Inc., 987 F. Supp. 1244 (E.D. Cal. 1997), a case decided on September 30, 1997, the district courtcited to Princeton (at ftnt. 3) even though Clinton County had been previously decided on June 26, 1997.
Another case, decided in 2003, notes that “[t]he Uni
ted States relies on [Princeton
],” albeit on another issue.
United States. v. Dravo Corp, 8:01 cv 500 (D. Neb. 6/20/2003). In Dravo Corp, the court correctly notedin a footnote that Princeton had been reversed and overruled, which is exactly what Pla
intended (but failed) to do in this case.
Case 5:13-cv-00365-FJS-DEP Document 51 Filed 05/30/13 Page 3 of 7