Q What is the statute of limitations for North Carolina water contamination cases?
Individuals who suspect their water is contaminated may need to satisfy special deadlines. These deadlines may or may not be limited to North Carolina's statutes of limitations.
Under some circumstances the negligent party may notify homeowners, businesses, or property owners of a leak or contamination that may have affected water supplied to the property. These could be legal notices that automatically trigger the figurative start of a ticking clock on a deadline for making a claim.
When it comes to the North Carolina statutes of limitations on water contamination cases, potential claimants need to learn about North Carolina's statute of repose. The statute of repose applies to parties who have polluted water. It provides that a lawsuit against a government organization or a company must be filed within 10 years of the activity that caused the contamination. (This means if a homeowner discovers their water is polluted 10 years and 1 day after it was initially contaminated, they would have missed the deadline.) This particular requirement poses great responsibilities on the claimant--not only do they have to prove who the negligent party is, but they need to have evidence of when the contamination occurred and for how long.
Another matter that affects some cases is whether or not federal statutes trump state laws. One example about a water contamination in Asheville can show how this surfaces with claims:
Residents of Asheville sued CTS Corp. over a polluted property. Residents initially discovered the pollution 13 years have the closure of the CTS factory. The residents cited the federal statute of limitations--which provides claims may be made within 2 years of the date of discovery. However, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled in June 2014 in the case of CTS Corp v. Waldburger that the state's statute of limitations applies. The residents have no case.
Interested in learning about other water contamination cases in North Carolina? Contact our accident lawyers and review: