Under inverse condemnation law in California, a public agency is generally strictly liable for physical damage to private property caused by a public improvement. This means a public agency can be held liable even if the public improvement was properly designed, constructed and maintained. Rarely is there a question of whether a project constitutes a "public improvement," but in Mercury Casualty Co. v. City of Pasadena (Aug. 24, 2017), the Court of Appeal recently addressed this issue and held that a tree constitutes a work of public improvement for purposes of inverse ...
A new bill -- AB 238 -- is working its way through the State Assembly which would require a reduction in compensation payable to a successful plaintiff in an inverse condemnation action in direct proportion to the owner’s percentage of fault in causing damages to the owner’s property. While the doctrine of comparative fault is one of the cornerstones of tort law, it is rarely applicable to inverse condemnation actions.
Ever since the seminal decision in Albers v. County of Los Angeles (1965) 62 Cal.2d 250, there has been a more or less bright line distinction between the strict ...
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