PaintSquare.com
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site

 

Advertisement

PaintSquare


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.

Advertisements
 
Aggreko
 
Dehumidification, Power and Temperature Control Rentals
 
Aggreko offers rental solutions for your painting/coating project. Dehumidifiers, cooling, heating, power and 24/7 service, nationwide.
844-433-9802
 

 
SEMicro Division, M.E. Taylor Engineering, Inc.
 
Coatings Adhesion Testers
 
The PATTI® accurately measures the bond strength between coating & substrate. Outfitted properly, the surface can be rough, porous, or curved & >10K psi strong!
 

 
Detail Masters
 
Overspray Removal
 
We offer professional, turnkey service and unparalleled quality!
Our process can save hundreds— even thousands of dollars. It's fast, environmentally safe and 100% guaranteed.
 

 
SAFE Systems, Inc.
 
SAFE Systems'
Blast Lights &
Deadman Switches
 
Halogen or LED blast lights available with our NEW urethane bumper. Switches available in many colors for color coding your hoses.
 

 
BASF
 
New resins from BASF will have metals loving water!
 
Excellent corrosion resistance, low VOC, high gloss, thin films www.basf.us/industrialcoatings dpsolutions@basf.com 800-231-7868
 

 
Monti Tools, Inc.
 
BRISTLE BLASTER® – THE ORIGINAL ONE
 
  • Abrasive blast with a power tool
  • Remove corrosion, mill scale and coatings
  • Cleans & roughens
  • Meets SSPC-SP 10 / NACE No. 2
  • Profile up to 4.7 mils
  • ATEX Zone 1
  •  

     
    PreTox Products - NexTec, Inc.
     
    GOT LEAD? Specify Pretox System products
     
    The ONLY Lead Stabilizer Compatible with All Paint Removal Methods. Works with all Blast Media: Grits | Recyclable Abrasives | CO2 | Water | Power Tools | Etc. Call Dave Steffen at 800.338.8296.
     

     
    RBW Enterprises, Inc.
     
    Robotic Blasting and Painting
     
    When using the FasterBlaster and FasterPainter, blasting and painting can be conducted simultaneously. View the video for a full explanation of the operation.
     

     
    Polygon
     
    POLYGON - Temporary Humidity Control
     
    We specialize in innovative climate control solutions for industrial painting, utilizing alternative energy sources and combining desiccants with heating or cooling.
     

     
    Tarps manufacturing, Inc.
     
    QUALITY MADE IN AMERICA —Available near you!
     
    CLICK to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Tarps Manufacturing makes the highest-quality tarps right here in the USA — available nationwide.
     

     
     
     

    Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

    TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


    The Technology Publishing Network

    Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

     
    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