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A Better Partnership
January 29, 2018

MSC: When is a governmental entity liable under an inverse condemnation theory?

Is a governmental entity liable under an inverse condemation theory for damage caused to a house during the demolition of a home on abutting property?  The Michigan Supreme Court has granted mini-oral argument to consider this question in Jones Family Trust v Saginaw County Land Authority, No. 155863.  The trial court and Court of Appeals both answered this question in the negative, concluding that summary disposition in favor of the Saginaw County Land Bank Authority ("SCLBA") was appropriate because there was no evidence in the record supporting the conclusion that the SCLBA had performed “affirmative actions directly aimed at the plaintiff’s property."  In addition to this question, the MSC will also consider whether depreciation is an element of damages to be proved by a plaintiff instead of an affirmative defense to be proved by a defendant as well as whether the appropriate measure of damages, regardless of the theory pled to support recovery of those damages, is the cost of repair. 

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