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San Diego County Owes School for Cleanup Costs

(CN) - San Diego County must reimburse the San Diego Unified School District for the money it spent to clean up a landfill site on its property, a California appeals court ruled.

The county leased the property from the school district and operated a landfill there in the 1960s. Environmental legislation passed in the 1980s called for a cleanup of the site, but the work was never done.

The trial court ruled in favor of the county, stating that the statute of limitations for the remediation of construction defects had expired.

Justice Huffman of the 4th Appellate District Court of Appeals disagreed, stating that the county must reimburse the school district for modernization costs pursuant to the environmental legislation.

Huffman wrote that the school district "relies on claims of statutory duties that the county has violated, to its damage, and these theories are distinct from construction defect allegations."

On remand, the school district will also be able to pursue claims of nuisance, trespass and inverse condemnation.

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