Landowners in Hawaii have a duty to ensure that nothing from their property will create a hazardous condition for adjacent properties. A common instance of a landowner’s neglect of this duty occurs when a landowner changes his property in such a way that the once natural water flow of an area is dramatically altered so that, when substantial rains occur, adjacent properties are subject to flooding. Sometimes the change to a landowner’s property may be due to the negligence of a contractor in grading during a home-improvement project, or perhaps the negligent placement of a rooftop drainage spout, among other things.
Flooding can also be the result, in certain instances, of poorly maintained water drainage systems. Sometimes these drainage systems are operated by private entities, and sometimes public entities.
In all cases involving flooding damage, the issue is always whether the conduct of the landowner was negligent, and whether the negligence was a substantial factor in an adjacent landowner’s damage. Frequently, this issue will require an analysis by an engineer who is acquainted with soils, flooding, and water drainage design. Lawsuits for flooding, in addition to seeking damages for property loss, may also seek injunctive relief to correct any situations that pose a threat of future flooding. Additionally, in certain situations, a party may be entitled to recover damages for any personal injuries suffered due to flooding, as well as damages for loss of personal property.
If you have suffered damages to your property due to flooding, please contact us for a free consultation so that we can discuss your rights and options and determine the best way to recover the damages you are due.