The defendant, pursuant to a contract with the United States government for improving navigation on the Missouri River, built some structures in the bed of this navigable waterway which caused a shifting of the channel resulting in damage to the riparian lands of the plaintiff. Thereupon plaintiff sued for damages. In reversing the trial court, which had granted judgment for the plaintiff, the circuit court of appeals said that the action could be maintained against the defendant if there was a wrongful invasion of plaintiff's property rights; but held for defendant because the damage suffered by plaintiff was an incident which must be borne without compensation. On writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court, held, that the judgment of the circuit court of appeals should be affirmed. So long as the defendant acted within the authority conferred on him by the government, he could not be liable for any damages. The Court suggested, however, that a remedy was available at the court of claims if there was a taking for the public use. Yearsley v. W. A. Ross Construction Co., (U.S. 1940) 60 S. Ct. 413.
Jerome J. Dick,
PUBLIC OFFICERS - FEDERAL OFFICER'S LIABILITY FOR DAMAGES DONE TO PROPERTY PURSUANT TO STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol38/iss8/26