Summary Judgment - Municipal Liability June 2015
Scott D. McKenna
Scott McKenna obtained summary judgment in defense of municipality on a claim for over $2,000,000 in damages for mold exposure, property damages, clean-up costs and loss of business as a result of chronic flooding occurring to Plaintiff’s property/business. Plaintiffs were property/business owners in a downstate City who undisputedly had chronic flooding into their premises as a result of the sewer lines of the municipality being a single line carrying both storm and waste water. When storms resulted in the sewer line being filled to capacity, chronic flooding occurred to Plaintiffs’ premises as a result of back-up of the storm and waste water. The City was in the gradual process of separating the water lines throughout town so as to alleviate this problem, but was not able to address Plaintiffs’ sewer line until after the lawsuit was filed due to budget constraints. Plaintiffs alleged over $2,000,000 in damages as a result of frequent clean-up costs, illnesses caused by mold exposure as a result of the flooding and loss of business as a result of the damage caused to the premises. The Court agreed with Scott’s argument that Plaintiffs’ suit was barred under the Public Duty Rule and the tort immunity afforded to discretionary actions.