Foley Investments, L.P. v. Alisal Water Corporation

Facts: A contractor installs a water line within the boundaries of a property to provide water for an apartment on the property. A valve on the line within the property is installed to supply water to neighboring properties. The valve is never opened. A new owner acquires the apartment. Later, the water line ruptures damaging the property. The owner files an inverse condemnation action against the contractor to recover losses caused by the ruptured water line.

Counterclaim: The contractor claims the owner’s inverse condemnation action is improper since the water line is located on the property, is for the private and exclusive use of the apartment and the valve has never been used to supply water to other properties.

Claim:  The owner claims the inverse condemnation action is proper since the valve, by providing for the ability of others to receive water, establishes its use as public.

Holding: A California appeals court holds the owner cannot maintain an inverse condemnation action against the contractor who installed the water line since the pipeline does not serve a public use as it was used exclusively to supply the apartment and the valve was never used to supply water to other properties. [Foley Investments, L.P. v. Alisal Water Corporation (December 9th, 2021) _CA6th_]

Read Foley Investments, L.P. v. Alisal Water Corporation in full here.

Related Reading:

Legal Aspects of Real Estate

Chapter 1: California Real Estate Law.