People v. Roscoe, 169 Cal. App. 4th 829 (2008)

John and Ned Roscoe, officers, directors, and shareholders of a family company (The Customer Company) whose underground storage tank leaked over 3,000 gallons of gasoline into the ground, were found liable along with the company for $2,493,250 in civil penalties under the state’s “tank laws.” The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment, holding that under the responsible corporate officer doctrine, an officer may be considered an “operator” of the tank and can incur personal liability. The Court further held that the penalties were proportional and not excessive. Cf. Tverberg v. Fillner Constr., Inc., 168 Cal. App. 4th 1278 (2008) (general contractor owed duty of care to independent contractor hired by subcontractor).