May 27, 2022
Dysart Taylor is pleased to announce director Meghan Litecky and associate Katy Alsobrook secured a client win for a group of homeowners against the City of Kearney, Missouri, in a matter involving claims of inverse condemnation.
The case dates back to the spring of 2015 when the plaintiffs began to notice damages to their property. Specifically, they noticed that public water flowing from a storm sewer outlet into a drainage ditch behind their homes caused significant portions of their back yards to erode and fall off. At the time, the homeowners, Mark and Sherry Davis, had a retaining wall and the erosion was beginning to compromise the wall. Just a few months later, after being advised by hardscaping experts that the issue stemmed from the storm sewer outlet, the homeowners contacted the City of Kearney to inspect the outlet, properties and drainage ditch.
After 15 months of being led to believe the city would take responsibility for the storm sewer outlet, the public storm water being directed into the ditch, and erosion of properties, the city abandoned all remediation efforts and told the homeowners that it was not responsible for the outlet, the ditch or their property losses and advised them to address the situation privately.
By this time, the Davis’s retaining wall and significant portions of their back yard had crumbled into the ditch and two additional plaintiff-homeowners continued to suffer significant property loss.
Throughout litigation and even at trial, the city unsuccessfully argued that it was not responsible for the storm sewer outlet because it did not have an easement to access it – something city officials had previously testified that was an oversight between the city and developer.
Additionally, the city unsuccessfully argued that it was not the cause of any increase in water to flow into the storm sewer outlet and drainage ditch despite video recorded evidence showing extreme amounts of water rushing through the drainage channel and storm sewer outlet.
Litecky and Alsobrook, on behalf of the homeowners, established that the city was notified of a problem with its storm sewer system and that, despite this notice, it continued to operate its system in an unreasonable manner causing damages to several homeowners.
Litecky focuses her practice on a variety of civil litigation and personal injury matters, ranging from advising trucking companies in wrongful death actions to defending small businesses in professional liability claims. Contact Meghan Litecky at email@example.com or (816) 714-3052 with any questions.
With more than 40 jury trials, many of them serving as first chair, Alsobrook is a skilled litigator who knows how to secure a win for her clients in front of judges and juries. Contact Katy Alsobrook at firstname.lastname@example.org or (816) 714-3080 with any questions.