Case study

Fifth Circuit Blocks Suit Over Landfill Odors

November 14, 2019 Case Study

Jing Gao et al. v. Blue Ridge Landfill TX LP

Houston-area residents who brought a proposed nuisance class action over the smell of a nearby landfill can’t justify restarting the clock on their claims due to a recent uptick in complaints, the Fifth Circuit recently decided in favor of Beck Redden’s client.

In affirming a summary judgment that Beck Redden won before the Hon. Lynn Hughes, the Fifth Circuit found that the Pearland, Texas, residents’ claims stemmed from a permanent, not temporary, nuisance from the landfill owned by Blue Ridge Landfill TX LP. Thus, the two-year clock on their nuisance claim started to run when they first smelled bad odors and it never restarted, the court said.

Because the residents had known about the odors for well over a decade, the time had long run out for them to sue, the court held.

The panel also rejected arguments that federal courts lacked jurisdiction over the matter.

The Fifth Circuit appeal was handled by Beck Redden appellate lawyer Owen McGovern. The trial court proceedings were handled by Beck Redden trial lawyer Troy Ford and assisted by Owen McGovern, along with co-counsel William G. Beck and Allyson E. Cunningham of Lathrop Gage LLP.

Troy Ford 713.951.6222
Owen J. McGovern 713.951.6210