Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

The first big rain of this year my house was flooded. This is because earlier this year my neighbor put in french drains that are causing all of the water from their yard to flow to my house. The flood caused severe water damage to my home. All of the floors and much of the sheet rock now needs to be replaced. Is my neighbor liable for these damages?

Asked on 12/08/12, 10:22 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

Probably. You would have to plead and prove facts showing that the neighbor created a non-natural and unreasonable concentration of the water flow and perhaps that he lacked sufficient justification to improve his property in such a way. A key California Supreme Court case that shaped the law regarding concentrated discharge of the surface waters from an uphill property is Keys v. Romley, decided in 1966 and published at 64 Cal.2d 396. You may want to find it on line and compare the facts and the law as stated in that case with your own situation. You can bring it up by entering the search terms "Keys" and "Romley" into a Google or Bing search.

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Answered on 12/08/12, 12:47 pm

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