Arnold & Porter Obtains Second Major Victory in Federal Nuclear Waste Case

March 2, 2015

Washington, DC, and Denver, March 2, 2015 -- Arnold & Porter LLP recently obtained another significant victory in the Court of Federal Claims and on behalf of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) in its lawsuit against the United States Department of Energy for failing to remove and dispose of SMUD's nuclear waste as required by federal law, this time, for the period of 2004 - 2009.  This is the second victory for the Firm in its quest to recover for the government’s failure to pick up SMUD spent nuclear fuel.  The first case awarded SMUD $53 million in damages for the costs SMUD incurred from 1998 - 2003.  This latest decision awards SMUD an additional $22.5 million in damages.  The total damages between the two cases is in excess of $75 million.

In 2011, Arnold & Porter had obtained a $38 million judgment against the United States for its failure to take SMUD's nuclear waste.  Because SMUD's damages were significantly greater than the $38 million awarded, however, the Firm appealed to the Federal Circuit, which found in favor of SMUD on every issue raised.  The Federal Circuit issued an order requiring the Department of Energy to immediately pay SMUD $53 million in damages, and remanded the rest of the case for a determination of the additional damages incurred by SMUD. 

The litigation team was led by partner Timothy R. Macdonald, who heads Arnold & Porter's Denver office, and Howard N. Cayne, a partner in the Firm's Washington, DC office.  The team also included associate Michelle Albert, based in the Firm's Denver office.

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