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If you can make sense of the Montana Supreme Court’s analysis in Letica Land Co. v. Anaconda-Deer Lodge County, No. DA 18-0249 (Feb. 5, 2019), we are all ears, because we sure cannot. The court concluded that the county’s actions in furtherance of its claim to own a road located on Letica’s property — including removing a dirt berm and encouraging the public to use the road — could not be a taking, only…
The South Carolina Constitution, like the Fifth Amendment and just about every other state constitution, prohibits takings of “private property” without just compensation. See S.C. Const. art. I, § 13(A). But does that govern the situation where the owner of the property allegedly taken by a city and the State DOT by creating sinkholes is a county? In other words, is property owned by a county “private” property? (We’ve been down this road before,…
Here’s the latest in a case we’ve been following, involving what Colorado calls “bad faith” condemnations.  In this order, the Colorado Supreme Court has declined to review the Court of Appeals’ conclusion that a taking ostensibly to preserve open space and a buffer zone between two municipalities, was an invalid exercise of the eminent domain power because the true reason for the taking was to prevent the condemnee-municipality from luring a big-box retailer,…
    Affirming the district court, the Second Circuit agreed that the excess insurer had a duty to indemnify the insured for sexual abuse claims. Hartford Roman Catholic Diocesan Corp. v. Interstate Fire & Cas. Co., 905 F.3d 84 (2nd Cir. 2018).     The Archdiocese had excess policies form Interstate between September 1, 1978 and September 1, 1983. The Archdiocese had underlying policies with Lloyds and Centennial Insurance Company. Interstate provided the second layer of…
Be sure to cave the date on your calendar for the 16th Annual Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference, at the William and Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia. This year’s B-K Prize will be awarded to Professor Steven J. Eagle. Professor Eagle is a familiar presence to the property bar and the academy, and this award is well-earned. His treatise, Regulatory Takings, is a monumental work, and a book that needs to be on every…
JD Morris has the story at the San Francisco Chronicle, “California’s strict wildfire liability rule hangs over bankrupt PG&E.” The story is about inverse condemnation of course, and how California law applies that doctrine in cases involving what look like natural disasters, most notably the state’s recent experiences with major wildfires. We provided comments on whether an insurance fund might make some sense (because isn’t the mail goal of inverse liability to
    Damage to the concrete floor installed by the insured subcontractor was not property damage and thus not covered under the insured’s CGL policy. Kalman Floor Co. v. Old Republic Gen. Ins. Corp., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3319 (D. Colo Jan. 8, 2019).      In 2007, Kalman Floor Co. was subcontracted to construct over 158,000 square feet of concrete flooring for a cold storage facility. The concrete floor was completed in late 2008. In…
In the usual circumstance, we wouldn’t be terribly interested in an unpublished — and therefore not precedental — opinion. But the U.S. Court of Appeals’ opinion in Kerns v. Chesapeake Exploration, LLC, No. 18-3636 (Feb. 4, 2019) caught our attention because it involves “forced pooling,” which this site describes this way: At its most basic, pooling is the joining together or combination of small tracts or portions of tracts to create sufficient acreage to…
    The court determined the insurer must defend after confusion arose in renewal of the insured’s policy. Nat’l Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. Infini PLC, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1052 (D. Ariz. Jan 3, 2019).     The insured, Infini, was insured by Lexington Insurance Company for medical procedures it performed. Wells Fargo Insurance Services was Infini’s broker. On July 24, 2014, Well Fargo sent a renewal application to Infini. Several weeks later, Infini…
We suppose we should not be too surprised by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s panel opinion in Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC v. 6-56 Acres, No. 18-1159 (Feb. 5, 2019), which concluded, like the Third, Sixth, and Eleventh Circuits did recently, that a private condemnor may obtain immediate possession of property that it may condemn, even though Congress did not delegate the quick take power to those private condemnors…