"The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that a federal law seeking to improve accountability for environmental spills and pollution can be circumvented by certain kinds of state laws.
The federal Superfund law supersedes state statutes of limitations. Instead the federal law dictates that lawsuits alleging environmental injury need only be filed when individuals either first learn or should have learned that they have been harmed. But what the court gave with one hand, it took away with the other, ruling that rare state statutes of another sort can limit lawsuits in a different way.
The case before the court arose in 2009, when a group of landowners in Asheville, N.C., suffering an array of serious health problems — from cancer to pregnancy complications — discovered that the company that used the land in the 1970s and 1980s contaminated their water supply with toxic solvents. The company did not disclose those facts when selling the parcels to individuals in 1987."