John Horstmann Co. v. United States,
257 U.S. 138 (1921)

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U.S. Supreme Court

John Horstmann Co. v. United States, 257 U.S. 138 (1921)

John Horstmann Co. v. United States

Nos. 26, 32

Argued October 7, 1921

Decided November 21, 1921

257 U.S. 138


In actions in the Court of Claims for damages resulting from an unforeseen flooding of claimants' soda lakes following construction and operation of a government irrigation project by which water was brought into the watershed,


(1) That allegations that the water percolated through the ground due to lack of proper lining in the government's canals and ditches, the manner of their construction, and the natural conditions

Page 257 U. S. 139

were not intended to set up negligence, but merely to show causal connection between the project and the flooding, and hence did not characterize the cause of action as ex delicto. P. 257 U. S. 144.

(2) That, as no intentional taking of claimants' property could be implied, the government was not liable ex contractu, assuming such causal relation. P. 257 U. S. 145. United States v. Lynah, 188 U. S. 445, distinguished.

54 Ct.Clms. 169, 214; 55 id. 66, affirmed.

Appeal from judgments denying recovery for damages resulting from the flooding of claimants' soda lakes.

Page 257 U. S. 142

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