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Eastman v. Coffeyville Resources Refining & Marketing, LLC

ELR Citation: 40 ELR 20031
Nos. No. 10-1216-MLB-KGG, (D. Kan. , 11/19/2010)

A district court dismissed landowners' OPA claim against a company for damages stemming from an oil spill in the Verdigris River in Kansas, but denied the company's motion to dismiss the landowners' nuisance claim. The landowners failed to file their OPA claim within the three-year statute of limitations period. They filed their complaint on June 30, 2010, just within the three-year mark, but the complaint did not assert an OPA claim. On October 12, 2010, the landowners moved to amend their complaint to add the OPA claim. They argued that the amendment to their complaint relates back to the original date of filing of their complaint. But because an OPA claim requires a 90-day notice and a nonadversarial period, the court must look to the date of the amended complaint. Accordingly, the OPA claim cannot relate back to the June 30 filing date and is barred by the three-year statute of limitations. The landowners, however, may go forward with their nuisance claim. They have consistently alleged a continuing nuisance claim, and their claim is for temporary damages and is not barred by the two-year statute of limitations.