Bob Kuderer Wins Summary Judgment Victory in Trespass and Nuisance Case.

Bob represented the owners of a golf course in a surface water and subsurface water intrusion case.  The plaintiff homeowner claimed the golf course adjacent to her property caused surface and subsurface water to flow onto her property, flooding her lawn and basement.  Plaintiff alleged negligence, nuisance and trespass against the golf course.

The district court dismissed the claim on summary judgment based on the statute of limitations and statute of repose in Minn. Stat. § 541.051, the statute involving improvements to real property.  Plaintiff contended the water intrusion amounted to an ongoing nuisance, and that the golf course was not an “improvement to real property” within the meaning of the statute.  The district court held the statute began to run when the former homeowners first discovered water intrusions three years before plaintiff purchased the property.  The district court also held that extensive alterations necessary to create the golf course amounted to “improvements to real property.”  The court further held that allegations of a continuing trespass did not toll the statute of limitations.

The plaintiff later sought reconsideration based on a later-filed affidavit in which a witness alleged the golf course was intentionally directing water onto plaintiff’s property.  The court denied the request, holding whether the intrusion was intentional was irrelevant to the analysis under Minn. Stat. § 541.051.

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