In an action stemming from the collapse of a retaining wall between the plaintiff’s and defendant’s properties, the First Department noted that a survey map without an affidavit from the surveyor is insufficient to support plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, but was sufficient to support the denial of defendant’s motion for summary judgment. The court also noted that where negligence and nuisance causes of action are duplicative, the nuisance action should be dismissed:
… [A] survey alone, without an accompanying affidavit from the surveyor, does not constitute competent evidence of the location of property lines and fences or retaining walls … . Plaintiff has therefore failed to tender sufficient evidence to demonstrate entitlement to a declaratory judgment on its claim brought pursuant to Administrative Code of City of NY § 28-305.1.1.
Defendant met its prima facie burden as cross movant by submission of the affidavit of a land surveyor who inspected and measured the property subsequent to the collapse of the retaining wall in June 2013, and concluded that no portion of the wall had been upon defendant’s property. That plaintiff’s two surveys indicate that the wall was “on [the] line” of both properties, is sufficient, however, to raise a question as to the location of the wall relative to the two properties; we have long held that otherwise inadmissible evidence may be considered to defeat an application for summary judgment … .
… [W]e find that the claim of negligence is expressed throughout plaintiff’s papers, and there is a question of fact as to whether defendant owed a duty of care to plaintiff, if the retaining wall is found to rest on both parties’ premises. The claim of nuisance, based on allegations that defendant’s ongoing refusal to participate in the repairs and maintenance of the retaining wall substantially interferes with plaintiff’s ability to use and enjoy its property, arises solely from plaintiff’s claim of negligence. Where nuisance and negligence elements are “so intertwined as to be practically inseparable,” a plaintiff may recover only once for the harm suffered … . Upon a search of the record, we conclude that the third cause of action, nuisance, should be dismissed as duplicative of the negligence cause of action, although this argument was not previously made or considered … . 70 Pinehurst Avenue LLC v RPN Mgt Co Inc, 2014 NY Slip Op 09029, 1st Dept 12-30-14