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US v.

Lynah
Power of Eminent Domain: Private Property
FACTS. The US Government placed dams and walls in the Savannah River. Such structure has
obstructed the natural flow of waters and caused it to raise and overflow towards the property
of the plaintiff.
The plaintiff claimed that such flooding has totally destroyed the value of his land. His land was
intended solely for rice plantation. Since the flooding has seemed permanent and impossible to
drain, the plaintiff was forced to pursue planting on another plantation.
The US government on the other hand, argued that they are not in actual possession of the said
land. The flooding was purely consequential of an intent to improve the navigability of the
river.
ISSUE. Was there a taking of a private property?
HELD. Yes. This is a taking of the land for public purpose and for which compensation must be
provided.
The backing up of water on land was held as a taking. The property of a private individual was
invaded by the waters which were directly brought about by authorized government actions.
The plaintiff had been compelled to abandon, thereby an actual and practical ouster of
possession being continued and permanent by reason of permanent flooding condition.
Moreover, he has been deprived of the beneficial use of his property.