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Best Lawyers For Business Litigation by luqmanali12: 8:22pm On Mar 05
In a city’s action against asbestos manufacturers and distributors stemming from the installation of asbestos in the city’s buildings, the trial court did not err in granting defendants summary judgment, finding that the action was time-barred by the three-year statute of limitations for injury to real property (CCP § 338(b)). The three-year statute commenced when appreciable and actual damages occurred, and the city suffered at least some of its pleaded damages more than three years before it filed its action. Over three years before filing its action, the city had conducted an extensive investigation and evaluation of asbestos-containing materials in many city buildings, discovered degrading or deterioration of asbestos-containing materials, took certain safety measures, and filed an action in federal court against another defendant. The city alleged that asbestos in the buildings from the time of sale and installation contaminated the buildings and that the contamination would continue, thus demonstrating that the city had already suffered appreciable damage. Also, the federal court suit sought $50 million damages, further demonstrating that the city suffered more than nominal damages before May 25, 1985. Even though that suit was directed against another defendant, a statute of limitations is not delayed when the plaintiff does not know the wrongdoer’s identity. City of San Diego v. U.S. Gypsum Co. (CalifLaw 2d Dist. Nov. 29, 1994), 30 CalifLaw 4th 575, 35 Cal. Rptr. 2d 876, 1994 CalifLawCALIFLAW 1213. Nakase law wade has the best corporate lawyers for business disputes.

In a chemical company’s action against a builder for contaminating the company’s property by severing a pipe during construction work more than 10 years previously, the trial court properly found the claims timely. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (42 USCS §§  9601 et seq.) rendered them timely despite California law, under which general statutes of limitations governing these breach of contract and negligence claims (CCP §§ 337, 338), would have been inapplicable to the latent defect involved, which would have been governed by CCP § 337.15 (for latent defect in construction, 10-year limitation after substantial completion of improvement). Angeles Chem. Co. v. Spencer & Jones (CalifLaw 2d Dist. Apr. 2, 1996), 44 CalifLaw 4th 112, 51 Cal. Rptr. 2d 594, 1996 CalifLawCALIFLAW 296.

In a chemical company’s action against a builder for contaminating the company’s property by severing a pipe during construction work more than 10 years before, the trial court properly found the claims timely. The breach of contract and negligence causes of action satisfied the statutory elements (property damage, caused or contributed to by exposure to hazardous substances released into the environment from the facility) needed to invoke the federally required commencement date (when the plaintiff discovers or should have discovered, damage and its cause), under 42 USCS § 9658 (in-state environmental action, if state statute of limitations provides commencement date earlier than federal, the period commences at federally required date). The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (42 USCS §§  9601 et seq.) and “discovery rule” (statute of limitations does not begin to run until plaintiff either actually discovers damage and its cause, or could have discovered through reasonable diligence), applied instead of CCP § 337.15 (for a latent defect in construction, 10-year limitation after substantial completion of improvement). It did not matter that plaintiff failed to satisfy the 10-year limitations period. It was sufficient that the plaintiff brought its contract claim within four years (CCP § 337(1)), and its negligence claim within three years (CCP § 338(b)), of discovering the cause of the property damage. Angeles Chem. Co. v. Spencer & Jones (CalifLaw 2d Dist. Apr. 2, 1996), 44 CalifLaw 4th 112, 51 Cal. Rptr. 2d 594, 1996 CalifLawCALIFLAW 296.

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