The bottom line is that the neighbors prevailed over Reno. But, there’s more detail to consider now that the verdict is in.
- The jury found for the plaintiffs on inverse condemnation (taking of real and personal property without paying just compensation in violation of the Nevada and US Constitutions).
- The jury also found for the plaintiffs on conversion (damaging or destroying personal property).
- The jury denied liability for the trespass (unlawful physical invasion of real property) and nuisance (the creation of a condition that interferes with the use and enjoyment of real property) claims.
Note: the jury verdict on one of the elements of inverse condemnation – “taking,” (whether there was a physical invasion of water that substantially interfered with the use and enjoyment of property) is an advisory verdict. That means the judge has the final say on liability for inverse condemnation. If the verdict on inverse condemnation becomes final, the damages cap does not apply to that claim. Class members will be entitled to claim the full value of taken property (to the extent it was taken).
The defense and plaintiffs’ counsels have been ordered to meet to hammer out a “Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law” document to define the outcome of the trial. The plaintiffs will draw it up. The defense may object. The judge will review and enter what he sees fit.
The damages portion of the trial is expected in December. The parties are ordered to have a settlement conference no later than November 7, 2019.
Verdict minute: johnson minute order