Itkowitz PLLC Teaching and Publishing

Philadelphia Skyline

Something There is that Doesn't Love a Wall...

[This post originally appeared on Michelle's Micro-Farm Law Blog.]

Plaintiff owned and operated a farm.  Defendants owned and resided on a parcel across the road from the farm.

From 1991 to 1994 Defendants constructed a stone wall at the entrance of their driveway to deter vehicles from driving over their lawn.  The town added new paving and road material on Plaintiff’s side of the road.  According to Plaintiff, these things caused the roadway to shift toward his property and large trucks were no longer able to access his farm.  He also argued that the placement of the rock wall constituted a private nuisance.

The court granted Defendants’ motion for summary judgment against Plaintiff, concluding that Plaintiff’s claims were time barred.  Plaintiff appealed.

The Appellate Division disagreed with the lower court’s conclusion that Plaintiff’s claim of private nuisance was untimely.  While an action to recover damages for injury to property must be commenced within three years from the date of injury, actions premised on a continuing nuisance involve a continuous wrong and, generally give rise to successive causes of action that accrue every time a wrong is committed.  In such cases, damages are only recoverable to the extent that they were sustained during the three years immediately preceding commencement of the action.

Here, Plaintiff’s claim of private nuisance was premised upon the existence of an ongoing damage being caused to his property by Defendants’ wall.  Thus his claim for damages for the three year period immediately prior to the action was not untimely. 

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Go to older posts Go to newer posts

Copyright by Itkowitz PLLC.

Sitemap   |   Disclaimer