Regan v. SpectorAnnotate this Case
Plaintiffs Michael and Denise Regan appealed the trial court’s decision denying them relief with respect to their complaint alleging that the redirecting of surface waters by defendant Town of Fayston and defendants Alan and Maria Spector and the Spector Retirement Trust caused ongoing flood damage to their property. In May 2009, “a huge rainstorm occurred with devastating consequences for all parties,” including the Spectors, the Regans, and other neighbors downhill from the Spectors’ lot. A culvert on the hillside above the Spectors’ property plugged, causing large amounts of water to skip over a culvert, which would have carried the water away from the Regans' property. The trial court concluded that “the conditions on the ground of which Regan complains are due almost entirely to the natural evolution of a seepage wetland that was disturbed by and is incorporating over time the installation of two unnatural and unmaintained ponds.” On appeal, the Regans argued that the trial court: (1) abused its discretion by imposing a discovery sanction that precluded them from submitting evidence on money damages; (2) applied the wrong legal standard in rejecting their claim of inverse condemnation; and (3) erred in rejecting their nuisance and trespass claims because the Spectors’ construction of the stone-lined channel in 2008 constituted an alteration of the pattern of flow within the watershed. The Supreme Court found no reversible error in the trial court's judgment and affirmed.