Recently, one of our Harrisburg based partners, Barry A. Kronthal, Esq., defended a matter in York County Court of Common Pleas, involving a Plaintiff, coincidentally the former wife of a York County Judge, who had sued multiple parties, including our client, the local municipality, under the Pennsylvania Storm Water Management Act and common law theories for water damage to her multi-million dollar horse farm.
The claims against all Defendants stem from the construction of an adjacent housing development, and its accompanying storm water management system, the alleged defects of a municipally owned adjacent street, and the installation of an underground sewer system. The client municipality was sued in connection with the first two allegations. Plaintiff alleged that all of the aforementioned factors combined to inundate Plaintiff’s property with excess water, rendering it unusable as a horse farm and causing damages to certain buildings on the property. At the beginning of trial, based upon motions made by Mr. Kronthal, Plaintiff’s counsel acknowledged that he would be unable to call his valuation expert. Following three days of trial, based upon motions again made by Mr. Kronthal, and after an in camera hearing to determine expert sufficiency, Plaintiff’s causation expert’s opinions were almost, if not entirely, excluded by the court. Subsequently, after an offer of proof from Plaintiff’s counsel as to what his additional witnesses would testify to, motions for non suit were made not only by Mr. Kronthal, but by all defendants. These motions were granted by the court in their entirety.