Environmental Protection, Producer Insolvency and Lender Liability
The present paper deals with some legal issues surrounding environmental protection, namely those issues concerning the liability of the different firms and individuals directly or indirectly involved in the generation of environment damaging accidents. We consider in particular the potential effects of extending a firm's liability in case of an environmental disaster to its lenders and financiers when the cost of this liability is too large in relation to the firm's assets. Such extended liability regimes exist or are considered in many countries. The most important case is the 1980/85 Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) in the USA that led to an extensive jurisprudence over the last fifteen years. Nous traitons ici du cadre légal de la responsabilité directe des entreprises lors de désastres environnementaux et de l'extension de cette responsabilité aux prêteurs en cas de faillite de l'entreprise. De tels régimes existent ou sont à l'étude dans plusieurs pays. Le cas le plus connu est le Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) de 1980/85 aux États-Unis et nous analysons les principaux cas de jurisprudence auxquels cette loi a donné lieu depuis 15 ans.
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