Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania Addresses Storm Water Negligence Issues

In the case of Howarth v. Falls Township, No. 447 C.P. 2021 (Pa. Cmwlth. Feb. 14, 2024 Covey, J, Wallace, J., and Leavitt, S.J.) (Op. by Leavitt, S.J.), the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court reversed trial court’s granting of a Motion for Summary Judgment in a municipal storm water negligence/storm water management statute case.

In this case, arising in Wyoming County, the trial court had granted summary judgment to the township in a case in which the Plaintiff landowner had asserted that the township’s installation of a culvert under a road adjacent to the Plaintiff’s property constituted an alteration of land that triggered the requirements of the Storm Water Management Act.

The Plaintiff additionally asserted on appeal that the trial court had erred in holding that the township’s creation of an artificial channel to discharge water onto his property did not state a common law negligence claim, which is the first step in pursuing any claim under the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act.

As noted, the appellate court reversed the trial court’s decision in this case.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney Joseph G. Price of the Dougherty Leventhal & Price law firm in Moosic, PA for bringing this case to my attention.

Source of image:  Photo by Genaro Servin on

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