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RIVERVIEW PROPERTIES, INC. v. UNITED STATES

February 21, 1952

RIVERVIEW PROPERTIES, Inc.
v.
UNITED States



The opinion of the court was delivered by: FOLLMER

This is an action for damages for injury allegedly done to property of plaintiff by an agency of the defendant. The case was tried to the Court and without a jury; and the Court, having heard and considered the evidence, finds the facts specially and separately states conclusions of law thereon as follows:

 1. The action is brought under and pursuant to the Act of June 25, 1948, c. 646, 62 Stat. 933, amended April 25, 1949, c. 92, Section 2(a), 63 Stat. 62; May 24, 1949, c. 139, Section 80(a, b), 63 Stat. 101; Title 28 U.S.C. § 1346.

 2. The plaintiff and the defendant, acting through the United States Maritime Commission, on October 1, 1944, entered into a lease agreement by the terms of which a certain parcel of land and buildings thereon, in Loyalsock Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, were leased to the defendant.

 3. The leased premises comprised approximately 13 acres of land described, generally, as follows: That part of the plant of the National Dyeing and Printing Co., adjacent to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, bounded by a woven wire fence and lying between the west branch of the Susquehanna River and the right of way of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

 4. The portions of the premises involved in the instant suit are

 (a) Building No. 4, having a floor space of approximately 50,000 square feet, the flooring of which consisted of large flagstone and concrete slabs.

 (b) Building No. 5, being 120' x 130', of which approximately 5,000 square feet had a flooring of wood.

 (c) Part of Building No. 2, having a floor space of 300 to 500 square feet, being a passageway between buildings Nos. 4 and 5, and having a wood floor.

 5. Pursuant to the terms of the lease, the United States Maritime Commission took possession of the premises on or about October 1, 1944.

 6. The buildings involved had formerly been occupied as a dye plant. Throughout the plant there were a number of so-called French drains, i.e., drains which emptied directly into the ground.

 7. Immediately on taking possession of the property, as a safety measure, the Government was obliged to fill up one drain and to cover all of the rest.

 8. The boilers, left on the property by the owners, were, on inspection by competent engineers at the inception of the occupancy by the defendant, found to have deteriorated to the extent that they had to be taken out of operation.

 9. When the old boilers were removed, the Government installed, at its own expense, a new boiler of a size and capacity ...


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