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Supreme Court: Damaged school suit comes too late

Published: Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 12:51 p.m. CDT

BENLD — The Illinois Supreme Court says a southern Illinois school district can't sue an architectural firm for building a school over an underground coal mine that later collapsed, causing the school to be torn down.

In a unanimous decision, justices ruled Friday that Gillespie Community School District's "fraudulent representation" claims against Wight & Company came after a statute of limitations passed.

The elementary school in Benld was built in 2002. It closed in 2009 after being damaged and declared unsafe because of mine subsidence, which occurs when land moves or sinks because of a collapsed underground mine.

Justices say the district's 2010 suit was filed too late. That upholds decisions by lower courts.

A reconstructed elementary school opened this fall.

Benld is about 40 miles northeast of St. Louis.

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