Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law: January 13, 2012

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Today, the Virginia Supreme Court issued a number of opinions affecting the practice of Virginia local government law. These summaries are from the Virginia Supreme Court website....

101168 Campbell County v. Royal 01/13/2012 In an action by landowners for damages resulting from contamination of groundwater, the trial court erred in granting summary judgment for the plaintiffs under the “Discharge of Oil Into Waters” Law, Code § 62-1.44.34:14 through § 62.1-44.34:23, because those statutes do not apply to the passive, gradual seepage of leachate and landfill gas into groundwater. Since no damage instruction was tendered setting forth the proper measure of recovery on the plaintiff’s alternative claim for inverse condemnation, there is no basis on which the plaintiffs can pursue that claim or retain the jury’s award of damages. The judgment is reversed and final judgment is entered for the county.

101352 Jean Moreau & Assoc. v. Health Center Comm’n 01/13/2012 In an action by a contracting party against a county healthcare commission arising out of an agreement to plan and develop an independent-living community, the circuit court did not err in dismissing a breach-of-contract claim because plaintiff did not comply with the contractual claims procedure for timely submission of claims under the Virginia Public Procurement Act, Code §§ 2.2-4300 through 2.2-4377, and did not err in finding that a quantum meruit claim was barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity because it arose out of the commission’s exercise of a governmental function. The judgment of the circuit court is affirmed....

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