BULK TERMINALS INC. V. ALUMINUM CO. OF AMERICA (ALCOA)
Statute of limitations: accrual (knew or reason to know) in groundwater contamination action
PUBLISHED: AFFIRMING; VANMETER
DATE RENDERED: 3/9/2007
CA affirms TC SJ dismissing appellant’s claims as outside the statute of limitations. (Jefferson Cir. Ct., Hon. Stephen P. Ryan, judge, presiding).
Appellant leased land to Liquid Waste Disposal between 1970 and 1980 to process waste. In 1979, the EPA found contamination, which was remedied, the cost of which was paid 10% by appellant and 90% by appellees – parties who disposed of waste at the site. In 1995, suspicion of further contamination arose; in 1997, appellant filed a claim with its insurance company stating, appellant “…believes that Kentucky law will require that the contamination be remedied….” Suit was filed in 2003, more than 6 years later.
There was no dispute that the 5-year damage to real property statute of limitation applied. CA held that it was clear that appellant knew of injury, if not extent, by 1997. Dismissal affirmed.
Digested by John Hamlet