Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

State v. Diamond Lakes Oil Co.

ELR Citation: 32 ELR 20534
Nos. No. 01-760, 66 S.W.3d 613/(Ark., 02/14/2002)

The court upholds a gasoline station owner's award of $200,000 in remedial damages and $100,000 in property damages due to gasoline contamination caused by a neighboring station. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, an intervenor in the case, argued that the owner's action was barred by the three-year statute of limitations found in Ark. Code Ann. §16-56-105(4). The court first holds that the evidence demonstrated that the owner could not have known about the cause of the contamination until 1997. Although the contamination had been present since at least 1994, there was not enough information to identify the source of the pollution in 1994. Further, the cause of the injury was not known, and could not have been known, until 1997. Until the owner learned his station's injury was caused by the migration of gasoline from a neighboring station, his cause of action had not accrued, and did not accrue until 1997. The court also holds that the trial court did not err in granting the owner's motion in limine to exclude evidence of the market value of its property. Similarly, the amount awarded to the station owner was not unreasonable.

The full text of this decision is available from ELR (8 pp., ELR Order No. L-464).

Counsel for Appellant
Charles L. Moulton, Ass't Attorney General
Attorney General's Office
323 Center St., Little Rock AR 72201
(501) 682-2007

Counsel for Appellee
Diane S. Mackey
Friday, Eldredge & Clark
400 W. Capitol Ave., Little Rock AR 72201
(501) 376-2011