OR / Pollution

Statute Allows Recovery from Long-Dissolved Companies

In June 2021, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law HB 2337, which amended an Oregon corporate law that requires claims against dissolved corporations and limited liability companies to be filed within five years of dissolution to now include an exception for any claims that can be satisfied in full or in part by insurance assets. Previously, state law barred lawsuits against dissolved companies unless filed within a five-year survival window—an issue frequently relevant in environmental clean-up efforts, such as the Portland Harbor Superfund Site, whose cost is estimated at exceeding a billion dollars.

With this amendment, claims that can be satisfied, in whole or in part, by insurance assets can be filed long after the company has been dissolved. These assets are limited to “the rights, benefits or proceeds available from the insurance assets,” and applies to claims against dissolved corporations or limited liability companies that arose before, on, or after the effective date of the new law, which will be September 2021. Other states, including California, allow this same access to historical insurance assets as permitted by Oregon’s new law. Oregon Revised Statutes §§ 60.644, 60.645, 63.644, 63.645.