Emory Law Journal


Allison Murphy


The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) was enacted to ensure the cleanup of thousands of hazardous waste sites throughout the United States. The Act also purports to provide parties who must assume the astronomical costs of cleanup with a federal right to contribution or recovery from responsible parties. The language of the Act clearly prohibits plaintiffs from recovering the same costs under both CERCLA and another comparable state or federal law. This Comment argues that CERCLA¿s double recovery provision should be narrowly interpreted to create economic incentives for parties to shoulder the burdens of hazardous site cleanup. Plaintiffs should be allowed to recover from collateral sources as well as other responsible parties. Because every federal court has prohibited collateral source recovery, this Comment also proposes that courts should not place undue weight on the plaintiff¿s economic benefit from site remediation in double recovery cases.