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Rizzo v. Nichols
Louisiana Court of Appeal
867 So. 2d 73 (2004)
Jasper and Mary Rizzo (plaintiffs) purchased a house in Alexandria, Louisiana. The property around the house sloped toward a vacant lot next door. After rainfall, water would flow over the Rizzos’ lot and collect on the low part of the vacant lot. After the Rizzos bought their house, Heath Nichols (defendant), the owner of the vacant lot, began construction of a duplex apartment on his lot. During the construction, the level of Nichols’s lot was raised and the natural drainage of water on the two lots was changed. Water began to collect on the Rizzos’ lot, flooding the back of their property, creating areas of standing water, and damaging their shed. Mr. Rizzo spoke to Nichols a number of times about the drainage problem. Nichols promised to look into the situation but never did anything to fix or relieve the situation. The Rizzos eventually sued Nichols, seeking recovery for damages that were caused by Nichols’s construction changing the natural flow of water. The trial court determined that Nichols’s actions were the cause of the damages and awarded the Rizzos actual damages as well as damages for inconvenience and mental anguish. Nichols appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Amy, J.)
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