From Sovereign Immunity to Strict Liability (Part 2)

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Part 1 of this article summarized the early development (phases 1 and 2) of inverse condemnation-water damage law. This concluding segment discusses the current status of the law (phase 3), summarizes how the law got to this point, and offers strategies or litigating parties.

Phase Three

In the third phase in the development of water damage-inverse condemnation law, the Supreme Court did four things. First, it affirmed and retained strict liability as the general rule applicable in inverse condemnation cases. Second, the court adopted the definition of causation suggested by Professor Van Astyne—i.e., a substantial cause-and-effect relationship that excludes the probability that other forces alone produced the damage.

This material is reproduced from the Real Property Law Reporter, by the Regents of the University of California.Reproduced with permission of Continuing Education of the Bar, California. (For information about CEB publications, telephone toll free 1-800-CEB-3444 or visit the CEB website.)

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