In Gutierrez v. County of San Bernardino (--- Cal.Rptr.3d ----, Cal.App. 4 Dist., August 24, 2011), a court of appeal considered whether property owners stated a claim for inverse condemnation for damage to their properties caused by a second flood after the county installed K-rails to protect residences because a previous flow of water, sediment, and debris had caused substantial damage. The court of appeal held that the property owners did not state a claim for inverse condemnation because the county acted reasonably when it attempted to protect the private property owners from a risk created by nature and the improvement did not expose the “properties to a risk of flooding that did not otherwise exist.”
For a detailed discussion of the facts of this case, and the rationale behind the court's ruling, please see the full KMTG Legal Alert here.
A copy of the court's opinion may be found here.
If you have any questions concerning this topic, please contact Jeffrey L. Massey, William Chisum, or Hanspeter Walter from our office, or the KMTG attorney with whom you normally consult.
Related story: Appellate Court Rejects Homeowners’ Claims For Inverse Condemnation