Trial court properly applied the common enemy doctrine

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Appellant-plaintiff Lowell J. Pflum appeals the judgment in favor of appellee-defendant Wayne County Board of Commissioners (the Board), claiming that the evidence was insufficient to support the conclusion that the Board’s improvement project had not resulted in the discharge or casting of surface water upon Pflum’s lot in accordance with the common enemy doctrine.

Conclusion (slip op. at 2): Finding that the trial court properly applied the common enemy doctrine in determining that Wayne County (the County) did not collect surface water and cast it on Pflum’s property, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Key Analysis (slip op. at 9, 10): Rather than interrupt or change the natural flow of the water, the County did nothing to alter the natural flow of the 580-acre watershed . . . there is no evidence that the County created any artificial channels to divert or collect water in the design and/or the installation of the canisters . . . Pflum failed to establish that the County altered any natural watercourse or did anything to disturb the natural tendency for the watershed to drain directly to Pflum’s yard

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Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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