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Wallace E. Mechler and Chris Mechler v United States of America

Case Summary: 12-cv-01183-EFM

On May 21, 2012, Plaintiffs Wallace and Chris Mechler filed suit against the US Government in the District of Kansas under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) seeking $430,000 in damages caused by the leeching of hazardous chemicals from a former Air Force base onto Plaintiffs’ property.

Plaintiffs had originally filed an administrative claim with the Department of the Air Force on September 20, 2011. The Air Force failed to dispose of the claim within six months after it was filed, permitting Plaintiffs to file suit in federal court under the FTCA. The Government then moved to dismiss Plaintiffs’ claim, arguing that the suit was barred by the FTCA’s two-year statute of limitations or Kansas’s 10-year statute of repose.

This video shows the July 22, 2013 hearing on the Government’s Motion to Dismiss. On August 2, 2013, the court issued a memorandum and order denying the motion. The court found that a reasonable plaintiff would not have discovered the contamination on Plaintiffs’ property more than two years before Plaintiffs filed suit, and that a federal law, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Liability, and Compensation Act, preempts Kansas’s statute of repose.

Case Highlights

  • Complaint filed 5/21/2012 (Doc #1)
  • Defendant filed Motion to Dismiss 11/06/2012 (Doc #7)
  • Plaintiff filed response to Motion to Dismiss 12/20/2012 (Doc #10)
  • Hearing on Motion to Dismiss 7/22/2013 (Doc #29)
  • Memorandum and Order denying Motion to Dismiss 8/2/2013 (Doc #31)

Case-related documents, including those referenced above, are available via the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service. For more information, visit

Wallace E. Mechler and Chris Mechler v United States of America
Wallace E. Mechler and Chris Mechler v United States of America, Case Number 12-cv-1183-EFM, Motion Hearing; Civil - Tort Claim, 7/22/2013, 2:00 PM (CST), Federal Courthouse, Wichita, KS, Judge Eric F. Melgren presiding.

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