Klein & Wilson

Eminent domain issues interfere with large construction project

Private contractors are often asked to participate in publicly-funded construction projects. Delays in such projects due to litigation or court injunctions can thus affect private companies or corporations involved in such projects.

California water officials had hoped to create two tunnels leading to the Sacramento River for purposes of siphoning water. The Bay Delta Conservation plan was intended to provide fresh water to areas throughout Southern California. However, the construction project has been delayed due to concerns that the project in question may intrude upon private property.

One state appellate court has ruled in a 2-1 decision that water officials cannot enter private property for soil testing and other studies. The judges ruled that California must adhere to eminent domain laws requiring a jury trial if property is taken away in some manner. The court felt that a number of actions taken by authorities could trigger these eminent delay laws.

The Department of Water Resources state that they anticipated such a ruling and that work will not be delayed. We will have to wait and see if that actually turns out to be the case. In any event, the project has been estimated to cost billions of dollars and litigation that places obstacles in the manner in which construction is conducted could possibly prove costly.

Business litigation can involve any number of disputes involving a variety of subject matters. As these disputes can prove to be both complex and costly, experienced attorneys are needed that understand contract disputes, state and federal regulations and the requirements of businesses.  These attorneys are needed to represent a company's private concerns.

Source: The Republic, "Court ruling threatens to delay California's massive twin tunnel water project," March 14, 2014

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