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Legg v. County Comm'rs of Dorchester County

Citation: 32 ELR 20685
No. No. JFM-02-533, 200 F. Supp. 2d 535/(D. Md., 05/15/2002)

The court holds that an individual's claims of inverse condemnation and negligence arising from leachate and methane gas contamination of the individual's property from a neighboring county-owned landfill are barred by the state's three-year statute of limitations. The court first holds that the record clearly shows that the individual had notice of potential harm, thereby time barring his federal inverse condemnation claim. A letter by the state environmental agency identified the groundwater and methane gas problems and recommended that if development of the individual's property were to be permitted, notice of the environmental dangers be given to prospective land purchasers. The expression of these concerns by the state agency had at least a possible or potential effect on the value of the individual's property. The court next holds that the individual's negligence and inverse condemnation claims under state law are time barred. The court further holds, however, that the individual's nuisance claim may not be time barred because under state law each new day of a temporary nuisance gives rise to a new cause of action. That issue was therefore remanded to state court for its determination.

[Counsel not available at this printing.]

Motz, J.