Airport workers' environmental contamination action is untimely; City & County of Denver v. Crandall, No. 06SC424 (Colo. June 25, 2007)

Aug. 8, 2007

The Colorado Supreme Court reversed the court of appeal's decision to deny a city's motion to dismiss employees' proposed class action tort claims, finding the employees' claims were untimely under the 180 day notice requirement absent new and separate injuries.

Terri Crandall and Joann Hubbard were employed by the city and county of Denver, Colo., where they worked at the airport as customer service representatives. Both employees worked at the airport since 1995.

Crandall and Hubbard claimed that they suffered injuries due to their exposure to mold and other environmental hazards at the airport. In 1999, an investigation by United Airlines revealed that the airport facilities had poor air quality and mold growth.

On behalf of themselves and other employees similarly situated, Crandall and Hubbard sued the city for the injuries they suffered as a result of their exposure to the mold. The city moved to dismiss, contending that the plaintiffs failed to bring suit in a timely manner under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act (CGIA). The trial court denied the motion, and the court of appeal affirmed. The city moved for certiorari.

The CGIA requires that a notice of claim be filed with the city within 180 days of the alleged injury. The supreme court found that a continuous injury does not prolong the deadline for filing unless a new, separate injury arises. The supreme court reversed the court of appeal's denial of the city's motion to dismiss.

Judge : Gregory J. Hobbs Jr.

Counsel for defendant : Chris A. Mattison, Andrew D. Ringel, Andrew J. Carafelli, Hall & Evans L.L.C., 303-628-3300, Denver.

Counsel for plaintiffs : John D. Fognani, Brian D. Gonzales, Kristina I. Mattson, Fognani & Faught P.L.L.C., 303-382-6200, Denver.

Source: Class Action Law Monitor, 07/31/2007

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