Flooding in Florida?

The impacts to an agricultural operation from flooding, whether caused by a neighbor or by a government, are devastating. The law in Florida, while generally considered to be highly favorable to the rights of private property owners, is muddled and sometimes favorable to governments. This month’s column will briefly describe three different situations that occur in Florida.

First is the situation when a government unintentionally floods private property. Next is when a government intentionally floods private property. The third circumstance deals with a private property owner who agrees to let government store water on their property in return for a payment. All of these situations may become a reality for a property owner, especially a party who owns agricultural land in Central Florida. I represent clients faced with these issues and, in fact, our firm has extensive background in these issues due to our long-standing relationship and representation of agricultural interests. Jack Brandon in our Lake Wales office also has been involved in these types of cases and has significant experience in land use and water law.

These cases can be very complex, but if prepared by well-experienced attorneys who are familiar with the pitfalls of these types of cases, they can provide compensation for the damages from various types of flooding.

CREDIT

column by DEBORAH A. RUSTER

BIO: Deborah Ruster received her B.A. degree, with high honors, in 1978, and her law degree in 1981, from the University of Tennessee. She was admitted to The Florida Bar in 1981. Ruster also is a member of the Lakeland Bar Association and the Tenth Circuit Association for Women Lawyers. Ruster practices at the Lake Wales office of Peterson & Myers, P.A., in the area of civil litigation, concentrating in eminent domain.