PaintSquare.com


The First Word in Protective & Marine Coatings

A Product of Technology Publishing / PaintSquare
JPCL | PaintSquare News | Durability + Design | Paint BidTracker

Download the FREE Equipment and Rental Resource Guide

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


$1.6M Brings Hoppy Ending to Frog Flap

Thursday, April 18, 2013

More items for Environmental Controls

Comment | More

A frog-phobic road contractor near Buffalo, NY, has been awarded more than $1.6 million after a local developer flooded his 37-acre spread into an amphibian homeland.

The verdict handed Paul Marinaccio, 65, a victory over the Buffalo suburb of Clarence and developer Kieffer Industries, which had built a residential subdivision near his land.

“I beat the government,” Marinaccio said after a judge awarded him $1.3 million from the Town of Clarence and $328,440 from developer Bernard Kieffer, 83.

13-Year Invasion

Runoff from Kieffer's development swamped 37 acres of Marinaccio's once-dry 40-acre tract, unleashing a frog invasion that has lasted 13 years.

Marinaccio is the owner of Accadia Site Contracting, a road construction company, who says he has had a deep-seated phobia of frogs since his childhood in Italy, when a property owner waving a bullfrog chased Marinaccio off his land.

Frogs
allaboutfrogs.org

Runoff from a new subdivision flooded his land, bringing an infestation of frogs (not pictured) and mosquitoes, Paul Marinaccio said. New drainage should send the critters packing, officials said.

Marinaccio's seven-year legal battle over the flooding of his property ended only recently, when New York's state Court of Appeals denied him an additional $250,000 in punitive damages by Kieffer, according to a report in The Buffalo News.

'Prisoner in My Own Home'

Marinaccio told jurors about his phobia at trial in 2009. “I’m petrified of the little creatures,” he testified.

“You people don’t understand," he said. "I am petrified. I go home at night. and I can’t get in my garage because of the frogs. They’re right in front of the damn door, OK?”

Marinaccio said he had had to call on his adult daughter to come over and “shoo" away the frogs.

"In the winter, it’s OK, because I know there’s no frogs,” he said. “But in the summertime, I mean, I’m a damn prisoner in my own home.”

From 'Dry, Buildable' to 'a Swamp'

The problems began in 2000, Marinaccio said, when runoff diverted from a then-new Kieffer subdivision ended up on his land. A town engineer had told Marinaccio that the water would drain into a ditch on Kieffer's property. Later, however, the town discovered that the ditch was actually on Marinaccio's land and that it was too small.

Kieffer also installed pipes that drained the water onto Marinaccio’s land without his permission, reports said.

Eventually, the flooding covered 37 of Marinaccio's 40 acres, testimony showed. (See photos here.)

“At the time he bought it, it was good, dry, buildable land,” Joseph J. Manna, Marinaccio’s lawyer, told jurors during the 2009 trial. “It is now a swamp. It’s a marsh. It’s a wetland” that has bred both frogs and mosquitoes.

Marinaccio, whom news reports describe as a self-made millionaire, said he had not wanted to sue, but that town officials had refused to fix the problem and had treated him "like I was some dumb Italian, with no education. ..."

Marinaccio said he had done some ditch work to address the problem but had declined to do more, considering the repairs the responsibility of the town and developer.

Developer: Not My Fault

Kieffer's lawyer argued before the Court of Appeals that the town had reviewed and approved all of the developer's plans before construction began.

Attorney Michael B. Powers also said Marinaccio had thrown several town officials off his property when they came to address the problem.

Bullfrog in water
jrscience.wcp.muohio.edu

Paul Marinaccio has been afraid of frogs since childhood, when a property owner chased him with a bullfrog. He said officials treated him like a "dumb Italian" when he complained about the flooding.

“He’s relying on his engineers,” Powers told the court, according to The Buffalo News. “They’re telling him that this is not going to put any more water on there than has typically been on there in the last 10 years.

"The town says, 'We’ll get any easement that we need for this. We approve all your plans.' The Army Corps approves them all, the state approves them all. What more is there for Mr. Kieffer to do?"

Ditching the Frogs

Under a post-verdict agreement, the town has agreed to dig ditches on the edges of Marinaccio's property, so that the water can drain. That should dry out the land and, everyone hopes, drive off the frogs and mosquitoes.

As for the property's future, Marinaccio told the News, "I'm going to put cows out there."

   

Tagged categories: Building codes; Commercial Construction; Commercial contractors; Home builders; Laws and litigation; Moisture management; Residential Construction; Specification; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Wasser High-Tech Coatings Inc.
Wasser Coatings Protect

some of the most important bridges in the country; learn about our NEPCOAT-approved system and our entire range of MCU & Polyurea coatings. 1-800-627-2968 www.wassercoatings.com


Absolute Equipment/Grand Rental Station
Portable Power from Absolute Equipment

•Compressors
•Lighting Systems
•Generators
•Light Compaction
Sales • Rental • Service
Call 1-866-931-6655
Over a century of
providing excellence.


Spider, a Division of SafeWorks, LLC
Spider Solutions Catalog

The industry’s only 280-page catalog resource includes:
• in-depth product info
• 21 case studies
• safety & inspection
  checklists
• codes & regulations
Click to request a copy!


U.S. Zinc

Combat deterioration and corrosion with our zinc dust in your paints and coatings. U.S. Zinc – Helping the world work™


EDCO - Equipment Development Co. Inc.
EDCO INVESTS

In both customer training tools and manufacturing technology. All customers are supported by online training, and our network sales representatives. Visit us @ edcoinc.com


Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
Blastox - One Step
Lead Abatement

Don't waste $$ on added labor steps with other methods. Don't mix, meter or apply at the job-site. Avoid strict hazardous waste rules.
Let your painters paint!


Corrosion Probe, Inc.
From Detection to Correction

Corrosion Probe, Inc. has the Most Concrete Coatings Experience and Expertise. Contact us today at
860-767-4402, www.cpiengineering.com

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker JPCL Europe

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2000-2014, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com