Gruner, the Lakeside man who for years paid taxes on land that didn't exist
thanks to a federal mapping error apparently had a type of insurance that
protects him from such goofs.
Gruner did not live to learn this: He died recently before he could resolve his
long-standing dispute with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management over his 23 acres
of mountaintop Lakeside land that exists on paper, but not in reality.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-El Cajon, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., tried unsuccessfully
last year to rectify the government mistake that threatened to rob Gruner of the
retirement income he had banked on and hoped to leave to his wife.
during an interview last year if he had title insurance which is supposed
to protect landowners from mistakes or disputes involving land ownership
Gruner said only that "these insurances aren't worth the powder to blow 'em
to kingdom come."
Gruner's death, a lawyer with Fidelity National Title Insurance Co. told Copley
News Service that Gruner did, indeed, have title insurance and that the company
was working with Gruner's widow, Dolores. Privacy laws prevented the lawyer from
revealing whether the title insurance might rectify the mapping area, and Dolores
Gruner could not be reached.
Wilkie of CNS covers San Diego and California issues in Washington.