Sometimes, when a business has suffered a negative impact in relation to a property, and it suspects that this impact was the result of an action a local government took, the business will pursue legal action against the local government. Whether a business can bring such an action, and the likelihood of success of such an action if it is allowed, can be influenced by many things, including contracts the local government reached with the business or past property owners. Thus, business litigation against local governments can be remarkably complex. When in such complex litigation, the guidance of an attorney can be of considerable help to a business.
Recently, a local government in Michigan, the city of Grand Rapids, has taken action to try to kill a lawsuit a business has brought against it.
Purportedly, during a flood of the Grand River last year, a complex in Grand Rapids which contains condominiums was flooded. An evacuation of the complex occurred on April 20, 2013, and the complex remained closed until May 8, 2013.
The company which owns the complex and some of the owners of the complex's condominiums allege that the flooding of the complex was the result of some work on a pedestrian walkway project that the city did in the 1990s. According to them, a hole in a floodwall that was a part of that project caused floodwaters to be directed towards the complex in last year's flood.
The condominium owners and the company further claim that the complex could have reopened earlier than it did following the flood had it not been for actions of the city. According to them, in relation to concerns the city had regarding a sewer main, the city ordered a delay in the efforts to get floodwaters out of the complex's basement.
A lawsuit was brought against the city by the company and the condominium owners over these allegations. Recently, the city made a dismissal request regarding this lawsuit. The city denies the claims in the lawsuit and alleges that the lawsuit is barred by a statute of limitations and a contract. According to the city, the contract was formed with the complex's original developer, which is not the current owner, and it barred that developer and subsequent owners from suing the city over claims related to the above-mentioned sewer main.
One wonders what will happen with this request for dismissal.
Source: mlive, "1989 development contract bars Plaza Towers flooding lawsuit, city claims," Garret Ellision, July 9, 2014