Government agencies across the board have practiced a doctrine called “eminent domain”—the legal right to take (“condemn”) and use private property without the owner’s consent, all in the name of public use. When the taking of that land is accidental or temporary in nature, like a flood or a fire, that form of “taking” is know as inverse condemnation. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution and similar provisions of California law require the the government to payjustcompensatation when such takings of private property occur. The compensable damages include property damage and repair, loss of use of the real property, expert costs, prejudgment interest on the loss, as well as attroneys’ fees. McLachlan Law has successfully sued government agencies on behalf of victims claiming inverse condemnation, winning millions in compensation in the process.
Common Examples of Inverse Condemnation
The most common type of inverse condemnation occurs when a government agency or quasi-government agency such as a large private utility company, takes temporary ownership of private landor causes damage to it without fairly compensating the owner. This form of “physical taking” comes in a variety of forms, such as:
- Flood damage from ruptured water mains, or other public water supply improvements, or the failure of storm drain or other surface water control improvements
- Sewage line failures, which can back-up into home sewer systems or cause suface sewage flooding
- Wildfire damage arising from utility company easements
- Occupying private land “temporarily” without permission or compensation (e.g., as a staging area)
Between verdicts and out-of-court settlements, MichaelMcLachlan has procured more than $100 million in recoveries for his clients. If you need expert legal representation in a business litigation case, call our offices today for an evaluation.
Pursuing Inverse Condemnation
In each of the cases above, the result is that the landowner suffers damage, either to the land itself or to his/her ability to use the land fully. When we sue for inverse condemnation, we are claiming that the client has suffered loss from the government’s actions against the property and is therefore entitled to compensation. McLachlan Law has an excellent track record in pursuing inverse condemnation claims on behalf of his clients. If the government has taken, damaged or restricted your land without compensating you for it, call our offices for a free case evaluation.
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