Company Receives Lawsuit for Leaving Behind Hazardous Chemicals

The Denver Beer Company, LLC and the owner of the plot the company is renting filed a lawsuit on Friday in the District of Colorado against the previous business occupying the land, the McKesson Corporation, alleging that the hazardous chemicals they released on the land are incurring costs to the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs claimed the hazardous substances found either released into the environment or threatening the possibility of release were due to the operations of the defendant, a business that distributed and repackaged chemicals on part of the site. McKesson is allegedly the “legal successor” to the companies that owned the facility.

“Plaintiffs have incurred and will continue to incur response costs in relation to investigating, assessing, evaluating, mitigating, removing, and remediating the environmental contamination attributable to the Chemical Distribution Facility,” the complaint stated.

The plaintiffs proffered that the defendants broke Colorado law and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). They are seeking to recover costs and damages due to the contamination and a judgment that McKeeson is liable for all past and future costs.

The defendant and its predecessors allegedly “received bulk shipments of various chemicals, including TCE and PCE, along with solvents and other substances containing TCE and PCE or their constituents.” The plaintiffs claimed that company advertisements showed that they sold substances containing the chemicals, including chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, chlorothene, and styrene monomer.

The Denver Beer Company said they hired a professional to investigate the chemicals on the site in 2015 and, after they recommended a deeper assessment of the soil and groundwater, the plaintiffs found samples of TCE and PCE in both locations and TCE concentrations in indoor air. The plaintiffs additionally began a community outreach program to give information about the contamination to adjacent residences and businesses and seek input on the removal of the hazardous substances.

The company’s application for a removal plan was approved in early 2017 and they engaged in a “trap-and-treat bioremediation” process through using underground injections. This method incurred further costs and damages to the land owner and the company.

The plaintiffs are represented by Evan Chenault Singleton with Gablehouse Granberg.