Washoe jury sides against Reno in flood suit

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RENO, NV (KOLO)-- A Washoe District court jury has reached a verdict in a lawsuit against the city of Reno over flooding in Lemmon Valley from Swan Lake, finding the city liable for damages.

The jury unanimously found the city of Reno liable for inverse condemnation, or taking property without compensation, and of conversion, which is taking property for government use.

The jury did not find the city of Reno liable for trespass and nuisance.

The verdict came down around 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, 2019.

A lawsuit filed against the city in 2017 grew to 56 plaintiffs charging the city of Reno was responsible for the water that came out of Swan Lake after the winter of 2016-17. It blamed the city for pumping or diverting excess storm water into what was normally a dry lake bed.

They also argued unchecked development in the area made the flooding worse. Paved streets took away soil that would normally absorb the runoff.

The city of Reno said it was a victim of a natural disaster that the city could not foresee or control. The city also said it was a flood-prone area.

A second phase of trial will determine damages will be in December.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019