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Sable v. General Motors Corp.

Citation: 26 ELR 21585
No. No. 95-1735, 90 F.3d 171/(6th Cir., 07/23/1996)

The court holds time barred a trespass action that an estate's representative brought against several companies for nonremoval of chemicals that they allegedly dumped on the decedent's land. The court first holds that the district court did not err in denying plaintiff's motion to remand the case to state court. Because the federal consent decree under which the companies agreed to contain the chemicals specifically rejects the option of removal, plaintiff's complaint seeks a remedy that directly conflicts with that decree. In addition, plaintiff is pursuing a state-law claim for circumstances created by a federal consent agreement, because the land is burdened by the federal government's consent agreements with the decedent and the companies. Therefore, plaintiff's claim arises under federal law. The court notes that the district court had the discretion to deny plaintiff's motion under the All Writs Act, because the district court had the power under the Act to protect federal consent agreements from conflicting state orders. The court next holds that plaintiff's action is barred by the state statute of limitations for trespass actions, because plaintiff did not bring suit within three years after becoming aware of all the elements of his claim. Plaintiff's reliance on the continuing wrongful acts doctrine is misplaced, because there were no continuing tortious acts, only continual harmful effects, within three years before the date that plaintiff filed the cause of action.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Robert H. Golden
Golden & Kunz
27465 Southfield Rd., Lathrup Village MI 48911
(810) 559-8118

Counsel for Defendants
Kathleen M. Lewis
Dykema & Gossett
400 Renaissance Ctr., Detroit MI 48243
(313) 568-6800

Before: KENNEDY and CONTIE, Circuit Judges; GRAHAM, District Judge.*