The Second Department determined the plaintiffs did not state causes of action for private and public nuisance based upon the alleged effects of a body of navigable tidal water (Henry Street Basin) which is adjacent to plaintiffs’ and defendant’s properties. Plaintiffs alleged a bulkhead built by defendant was falling into disrepair resulting in sinkholes on plaintiffs’ property:
A nuisance is the actual invasion of interests in land, and it may arise from varying types of conduct” … . In the present case, the private nuisance claim is predicated upon the defendant’s alleged negligence in maintaining its property. Where “a nuisance has its origin in negligence, negligence must be proven” … . Duty is an essential element of negligence … .
Here, the defendant had no duty to prevent the natural encroachment of public waters upon Sunlight’s property… . The “maxim” that “requires one so to use his lands as not to injure his neighbor’s . . . does not require one lot owner so to improve his lot that his neighbor can make the most advantageous use of his, or be protected against its natural disadvantages” … . Accordingly, the plaintiffs have not stated a cause of action sounding in private nuisance … .
The plaintiffs further failed to state a cause of action sounding in public nuisance. “A public nuisance exists for conduct that amounts to a substantial interference with the exercise of a common right of the public, thereby offending public morals, interfering with the use by the public of a public place or endangering or injuring the property, health, safety or comfort of a considerable number of persons” … . Here, the plaintiffs’ mere allegation that “[t]he deteriorated state of the Bulkhead [was] substantially certain to result in an interference with the public’s use or enjoyment of the Henry Street Basin and/or may endanger or injure the health of persons using the Henry Street Basin” was too conclusory and speculative to set forth a viable cause of action sounding in public nuisance. Sunlight Clinton Realty, LLC v Gowanus Indus. Park, Inc., 2018 NY Slip Op 06783, Second Dept 10-10-18
REAL PROPERTY LAW (NUISANCE, PLAINTIFFS’ COMPLAINT DID NOT STATE PRIVATE AND PUBLIC NUISANCE CAUSES OF ACTION BASED UPON SINKHOLES ON PLAINTIFFS’ LAND WHICH ALLEGEDLY RESULTED FROM THE FAILURE OF A BULKHEAD ON DEFENDANT’S PROPERTY (SECOND DEPT))/NUISANCE (PLAINTIFFS’ COMPLAINT DID NOT STATE PRIVATE AND PUBLIC NUISANCE CAUSES OF ACTION BASED UPON SINKHOLES ON PLAINTIFFS’ LAND WHICH ALLEGEDLY RESULTED FROM THE FAILURE OF A BULKHEAD ON DEFENDANT’S PROPERTY (SECOND DEPT))