Lawrence v. Buena Vista Sanitation Dist., No. 98CA2245.

Docket NºNo. 98CA2245.
Citation989 P.2d 254
Case DateSeptember 30, 1999
CourtCourt of Appeals of Colorado

989 P.2d 254

Janice L. LAWRENCE; Sally A. McGruder, a/k/a Ardyce E. McGruder; and Jacquelyn A. Hill, Plaintiffs-Appellees,
v.
BUENA VISTA SANITATION DISTRICT, a Colorado municipal corporation, Defendant-Appellant

No. 98CA2245.

Colorado Court of Appeals, Div. V.

September 30, 1999.


989 P.2d 255
Andrew T. Brake, P.C., Brian L. Lewis, Englewood, Colorado, for Plaintiffs-Appellees

Hall & Evans, L.L.C., David R. Brougham, Denver, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellant.

Opinion by Judge DAVIDSON.

In this action for damages based on the alleged contamination of real property, defendant, Buena Vista Sanitation District, appeals from the trial court order denying its motion under the Governmental Immunity Act, § 24-10-101, et seq., C.R.S.1999 (the Act), to dismiss a trespass claim brought by plaintiffs Janice L. Lawrence, Sally A. McGruder a/k/a Ardyce E. McGruder, and Jacquelyn A. Hill. We reverse and remand with directions to dismiss the trespass claim.

Plaintiffs' complaint alleged that leakage or discharge from defendant's wastewater treatment facility had contaminated their property. Plaintiffs asserted claims for trespass, negligence, negligence per se, and outrageous conduct. The trial court later granted plaintiffs' motion to dismiss voluntarily the outrageous conduct claim.

Defendant filed a motion seeking dismissal of plaintiffs' trespass claim on the grounds that there was no waiver of immunity for such claims against public water or sanitation facilities. The trial court denied defendant's motion. Defendant then commenced this interlocutory appeal pursuant to § 24-10-108, C.R.S.1999.

Defendant contends that the trial court erred in concluding that the Act does not bar plaintiffs' trespass claim. We agree.

Section 24-10-106, C.R.S.1999, provides that sovereign immunity shall be a bar to any action against a public entity for injuries which lie in tort or could lie in tort, except as provided in other specified statutory sections.

Because governmental immunity is in derogation of Colorado's common law, the legislative grant of immunity is to be strictly construed and exceptions to such immunity are to be interpreted narrowly to avoid imposing liability for which the statute does not specifically provide. See City & County of Denver v. Gallegos, 916 P.2d 509 (Colo.1996); Bertrand v. Board of County Commissioners, 872 P.2d 223 (Colo.1994) (grant of immunity to be strictly construed); but see Walton v. State, 968 P.2d 636 (Colo.1998)...

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3 practice notes
  • Corsentino v. Cordova, No. 99SC111.
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • June 26, 2000
    ...(noting the inconsistency between Gallegos and Walton in construing immunity waivers); Lawrence v. Buena Vista Sanitation Dist., 989 P.2d 254, 255 (Colo. App.1999) With these principles of statutory construction in mind, we turn to the specific provisions that are pertinent to this case. Se......
  • Langlois v. BOARD OF COUNTY COM'RS, No. 02CA0607.
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • September 11, 2003
    ...shall be imposed in any such action unless negligence is proven. (Emphasis added.) In Lawrence v. Buena Vista Sanitation District, 989 P.2d 254, 256 (Colo.App.1999), a division of this court held that "in actions for injuries resulting from a dangerous condition of, or the operation and mai......
  • Wal-Mart Stores v. Indus. Claims Office, No. 99CA0028.
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • September 30, 1999
    ...medical benefits, even if the disease has not yet become disabling. Thus, we uphold the award of benefits here notwithstanding the 989 P.2d 254 absence of evidence establishing an onset of The order of the Panel is affirmed. Judge PLANK and Judge JONES concur. ...
3 cases
  • Corsentino v. Cordova, No. 99SC111.
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • June 26, 2000
    ...(noting the inconsistency between Gallegos and Walton in construing immunity waivers); Lawrence v. Buena Vista Sanitation Dist., 989 P.2d 254, 255 (Colo. App.1999) With these principles of statutory construction in mind, we turn to the specific provisions that are pertinent to this case. Se......
  • Langlois v. BOARD OF COUNTY COM'RS, No. 02CA0607.
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • September 11, 2003
    ...shall be imposed in any such action unless negligence is proven. (Emphasis added.) In Lawrence v. Buena Vista Sanitation District, 989 P.2d 254, 256 (Colo.App.1999), a division of this court held that "in actions for injuries resulting from a dangerous condition of, or the operation and mai......
  • Wal-Mart Stores v. Indus. Claims Office, No. 99CA0028.
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • September 30, 1999
    ...medical benefits, even if the disease has not yet become disabling. Thus, we uphold the award of benefits here notwithstanding the 989 P.2d 254 absence of evidence establishing an onset of The order of the Panel is affirmed. Judge PLANK and Judge JONES concur. ...

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