The First Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined claimant’s action for damages based upon the periodic flooding claimant’s lot, over which the city had an easement, should have been dismissed. Claimant alleged the city had appropriated the easement by causing flooding:
… Claimant filed a notice of claim pursuant to Eminent Domain Procedure Law (EDPL) § 503, asserting a claim for appropriation of an easement over its lot. In 2015, claimant alleged for the first time that the bridge construction was causing flooding of its property. In 2017, claimant submitted the appraisal at issue in this appeal, prepared by Cushman & Wakefield, which determined that during a 31-month period from November 2014 through May 2017, claimant’s property and the non-exclusive access easement became flooded after rainfall. It attributed the flooding to a drainage pipe in the access easement area that became blocked by cement during construction of the new bridge. The appraisal provides that subsequent to the discovery of the flooding, claimant leased out its property and received rental income. Claimant’s alleged flooding damages, as set forth in the appraisal, consist of reduced rental income and the inability to develop residential towers on the property. * * *
Because claimant’s property was not subject to a de jure taking by the City, it may not pursue a claim to recover just compensation or consequential damages resulting from the flooding in this eminent domain valuation proceeding … . * * *
“In a modern inverse condemnation action, an owner whose property has been taken de facto may sue the entity that took it to obtain just compensation, and if the action is successful the defendant has no choice in the matter — the compensation must be paid” … .
The claim here for inverse condemnation is legally flawed, since the interference with claimant’s property rights, as set forth in its own appraisal report, is not sufficiently permanent to constitute a de facto taking as a matter of law … . Matter of Willis Ave. Bridge Replacement, 2019 NY Slip Op 08162, First Dept 11-12-19