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Cole v. Marathon Oil Corp.

ELR Citation: 47 ELR 20140
Nos. 16-2660, (6th Cir., 10/26/2017)

The Sixth Circuit held that the Michigan statute of limitations does not bar a nuisance and negligence suit brought by residents against a petroleum company. The residents brought a class action suit against the petroleum company for ongoing discharges and contamination. The lower court dismissed the case as being barred by the statute of limitations, which requires filing within three years “after the claim first accrued to the plaintiff.” The court added that the plaintiffs did not allege any facts from which the court can infer that the alleged injuries first occurred less than three years ago. The appellate court disagreed, finding that under Michigan law each alleged violation is a separate claim with a separate time of accrual. Thus, each discharge is a violation giving rise to a separate claim. The dismissal was reversed.