Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Fair, and Perhaps More Importantly, Done

Dole Food Co. v. Superior Court, No. B262044 (Dec. 1, 2015)  

Non-settling defendants in a land contamination case take a writ challenging plaintiffs’ good faith settlement with the alleged principal polluters under Code of Civil Procedure § 877.6. The general takeaways are: First, that the cost of remediation that the settling defendants regulator requires them to undertake does not count towards the settlement paid when calculating the offset to the remaining defendants. Those defendants don’t get credit of things required to be done regardless of the settlement. Second, that the settlement fund was reasonably proportionate to the settling defendants’ potential liability. And third, the settlement did not need to be pre-allocated in advance among the 1,500 plaintiffs or between economic and non-economic damages to be ruled fair. That could be handled by a claims process after the case is complete.

Affirmed.

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