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Starnes Attorneys Davis and Whillock Obtain Affirmance by Eleventh Circuit of Defense Verdict in Clean Water Act and Inverse Condemnation Case

Richard Davis presented oral argument before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and Amber Whillock joined him on the brief, with respect to the plaintiff’s appeal of a defense verdict the firm obtained on behalf of an Alabama municipality after a seven-day bench trial in federal court in Birmingham.  The appeals court affirmed the trial court’s judgment in favor of the city.  At trial, the corporate plaintiff had claimed the city violated the federal Clean Water Act (and the Alabama Water Pollution Control Act) and had “taken” plaintiff’s property, which is adjacent to a property owned by the city, as the result of flooding by storm water.  Plaintiff claimed $1.844 million in damages.  The trial court had held that plaintiff (1) failed to show that any discharge by the city was from a “point source”; (2) “in the absence of any credible expert testimony,” failed to show any “discharge” by the city; (3) in the absence of a viable Clean Water Act claim, failed to establish its state statutory and administrative code claims; and (4) failed to prove any “taking” of plaintiff’s property by the city.



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