David Silek, a Front Royal attorney representing Bock’s Garage in its suit against the Town of Strasburg, filed a response to the town arguing it doesn’t matter whether the town took property for public use, that its failure to maintain its water pipes remains the central issue.
In a Dec. 23 filing, attorneys for the town argued that Bock’s Garage’s assertion that the town committed “inverse condemnation” — taking private property for public use — was incorrect. Attorneys pointed to another, similar, case that said private businesses aren’t reimbursed for damage to their property as a result of “intentional, negligent or wholly innocent,” actions by a government agency.
If businesses were able to receive payments for any incident involving a government agency without the government taking their property for public use, it would undermine all sorts of claims, attorneys for the town wrote.
Silek, in a response filed on Wednesday, pointed to the same case and argued the town’s interpretation of the case was incorrect.
Silek reiterated the argument that the town, which provides water services, “intentionally, recklessly, willfully, negligently or as a result of inadequately maintaining the water pipe, caused the flooding and damages to [Bock’s Garage] property.”
Bock’s Garage alleges the town knew the water pipe that broke on April 24, 2018, flooding the property and causing several feet of mud and sediment to cover vehicles and equipment, needed to be replaced and failed to do so.
Failure by the town to monitor the water pipe tracks with the plaintiff in the case Silek argued the town misinterpreted. In that case, Arlington County was accused of failing to maintain a sewer line that eventually backed up at a Harris Teeter.
In that case, the plaintiff said that “the County adopted ‘policies, procedures and practices’ that ‘made it most probable that a sewage backup would occur’” — the same argument Bock’s Garage is making against the town.
Silek asked the court to toss out the town’s request to remove the inverse condemnation charge and asked that the town not be allowed to use any other legal arguments to make its case for the same charge.
Bock’s Garage is seeking $106,863 from the town.