Directed Verdict for Georgia DOT in Flooding Case

Reidling v. DOT, State Court of Hall County
Civil Action File No. 03CV2359C
Directed Verdict: December, 2007

The Plaintiffs alleged their property was damaged due to flooding of a nearby creek after The Georgia DOT negligently designed the Pearl Nix Parkway Extension in Gainesville, Georgia. Specifically, the Plaintiffs argued that (1) the DOT failed to provide for the disposal of the excess fill dirt in the original design plans; (2) the DOT negligently approved the contractor’s placing the waste pit adjacent to the Project in an alleged flood plain; and (3) that the construction of the Pearl Nix Parkway Extension and the creation of the waste pit resulted in an increase in storm water run-off during moderate and heavy rains, thereby forcing Flat Creek to swell beyond its banks and flood the Plaintiffs’ property.

Prior to trial, on motions for summary judgment, we were able to narrow the issue to just the question of negligent design. At trial, after Plaintiffs presented 3 ½ days of testimony and rested their case, we moved for a directed verdict and won. The Judge found that Plaintiffs had been given the opportunity and still failed to produce enough evidence of negligent design to go to the jury. The Judge directed that a verdict be entered in favor of DOT.