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In April 2006, the Appellate Division, Second Department, issued an unfavorable decision against a property owner, and dismissed a property-damage lawsuit which had been brought against the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA). Pray tell, this wasn't just any property owner. And, since the dispute involved some unusual facts and received little media attention, we thought we would highlight the outcome of that case here.
In Holy Name of Jesus Roman Catholic Church v. New York City Transit Authority, the Church alleged that its sidewalk had been damaged by vibrations generated by the City's subway trains, which uses tracks located directly under the Church's property. In response to these charges, NYCTA presented the court with test results performed by an expert who had measured the vibration levels and concluded that the damage could not have been caused by the subway cars.
Rather than counter with scientific experts, the Church submitted the deposition testimony of a Reverend and opposing papers signed by an attorney. Finding no redeeming value in these submissions--since they were wholly predicated on surmise and conjecture--the appellate court ultimately determined that the Church's claim could not be saved and directed the litigants to go in peace.
For a copy of the Appellate Division's decision in Holy Name of Jesus Roman Catholic Church v. New York City Transit Authority, please click on the following link: