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Seattle Times Co. v. Leathercare, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

May 25, 2017

SEATTLE TIMES COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
LEATHERCARE, INC.; STEVEN RITT, an individual, and the marital community composed of STEVEN RITT and LAURIE ROSEN-RITT Defendants and Third Party Plaintiffs
v.
TOUCHSTONE SLU LLC, a Washington limited liability company; TB TS/RELP LLC, a Washington limited liability company; AMERICAN LINEN SUPPLY CO., a Washington corporation; Does 1-20 Third Party Defendants.

          RYAN SWANSON & CLEVELAND, PLLC Attorneys for Defendants and Third Party Plaintiffs LeatherCare, Inc., Steven Ritt and Laurie Rosen-Ritt

          FOSTER PEPPER PLLC Ken Lederman, Jeremy R. Larson, Alexandra Gilliland, Ken Lederman, Jeremy R. Larson, Alexandra Gilliland, FOSTER PEPPER PLLC, Attorneys for Defendants TOUCHSTONE SLU LLC, a Washington limited liability company, and TB TS/RELP LLC, a Washington limited liability company.

          STIPULATION AND ORDER ON LIABILITY UNDER CERCLA AND MTCA BETWEEN LEATHERCARE, INC. AND TB TS/RELP LLC

          Thomas S. Zilly United States District Judge.

         LeatherCare, Inc. (“LeatherCare”) and TB TS/RELP LLC, by and through their undersigned attorneys, hereby stipulate to and request the Court to enter the following Order regarding liability in this action under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) and the Model Toxics Control Act (“MTCA”).

         Based on the mutual stipulation of LeatherCare, Touchstone SLU LLC and TB TS/RELP LLC, the Court hereby ORDERS that:

         1. LeatherCare and TB TS/RELP LLC enter into this stipulation for the limited purpose of establishing certain elements of claims under CERCLA and MTCA that would otherwise have to be proved in this case.

         2. Regarding the real property referred to as the Troy Block at interest in this matter, there has been a “release” or threatened release of “hazardous substances” from a “facility” as those terms are defined under CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. §9601(9), (14), (22) and MTCA, RCW 70.105D.020(8), (13), (32).

         3. LeatherCare is a “former operator” as defined under CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. §9607(a)(2), and MTCA, RCW 70.105D.040(1)(b).

         4. Touchstone SLU LLC is a prior owner and operator of the facility. Touchstone SLU LLC entered into Agreed Order No. DE 8996 with the Washington State Department of Ecology on May 12, 2012 (“Agreed Order”). Pursuant to the Agreed Order, Touchstone SLU LLC is a Potentially Liable Person under the Model Toxics Control Act, Chapter 70.105D RCW, in connection with the Troy Laundry Site. Touchstone entered into a First Amendment to the Agreed Order on or about August 28, 2013.

         5. On March 28, 2013 Touchstone SLU LLC conveyed the Troy Block property to TB TS/RELP LLC via Special Warranty Deed.

         6. Touchstone SLU LLC is a member of TB TS/RELP LLC.

         7. TB TS/RELP LLC is the current “owner or operator” as defined under CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. §9607(a)(1), and MTCA, RCW 70.105D.040(1)(a).

         8. Touchstone SLU LLC and TB TS/RELP LLC have incurred “necessary costs of response” under CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. §9607(a)(4)(B), and “remedial action costs” under MTCA, RCW 70.105D.080. Any response costs or remedial action costs incurred by Touchstone SLU LLC are now considered response costs or remedial action costs incurred by TB TS/RELP LLC.

         9. The elements of liability under both CERCLA and MTCA as described in paragraphs 2 through 8, infra, are hereby established for purposes of LeatherCare's claims against TB TS/RELP LLC, and for ...


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