A company cannot be held liable for pollution committed decades ago by a business that it recently purchased, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in State of New York v. National Service Industries Inc., 05-4706-cv, rejected a request by Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s office to make Georgia-based National Service Industries reimburse the state for the $12 million it spent cleaning up a Long Island landfill.

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