(CN) – A New Jersey couple whose home was destroyed by a storm 49 years ago can seek compensation from the city that took over the property, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled.
Edward and Nancy Klumpp built a summer home on oceanfront property in Avalon, N.J., in 1960. Two years later, “The Great Atlantic Storm” (nor’easter) devastated the coastline and wiped out the Klumpp’s house.
Avalon officials took action by building a protective dune in 1965 to prevent such damage from happening again. They took over the Klumpps’ property, though the couple continued to pay property taxes for decades.
In 2005, the Klumpps sued the city for taking their property. The trial court ruled against the Klumpps, and an appeals court confirmed that the city was the true owner of the property.
However, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that it was not too late for the Klumpps to be compensated for the taking of their property, despite the fact that the six-year statute of limitations has expired.
“Equity demands that the plaintiffs be allowed the opportunity to amend their complaint to add a claim for inverse condemnation to pursue valuation of the property at the time of the taking that occurred in or around 1965, when the dune was constructed on their property,” Justice Jaynee LaVecchia wrote.