Author Topic: Erie Canal Neighbors Embankment Restoration Class Action Participants Wanted  (Read 82 times)

Doug K

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 527
  • Location: Brockport
    • ECNA US
It has finally come down to this... a Class Action, against the New York Power Authority & the New York State Canal Corporation.

This is in response to the poor handling of their Embankment Safety Project that was ramrodded through the canal neighborhood from Medina to Brockport between 2017 and present day. That canal clearing was done in the name of public safety, and now canal embankment neighbors like us, are paying the price for their haphazard method of managing this safety issue and it's unexpected fallout.

Many of us along the Canal are still waiting for the promised natural barrier restoration planting that has now been delayed until 2021. The Canal Corporation had delayed this well before Covid ever was a problem and still uses that excuse for not getting that barrier planted now.

In fact the NYS Canal Corporation is spending more time on planning how to upend other canal neighbor's lives, instead of finishing the work they had promised all of us two years ago. It's time to apply pressure to get the results we all need.

WHAT HAS TO HAPPEN.

To make this Class Action case happen we will need to hear from MORE neighbors who have been DIRECTLY affected by the NYS Canal Corporation embankment clearing EERP Project started in 2017 in western Monroe County and also Orleans County. The official name of EERP was the Earthen Embankment Restoration Project, and this Class action is for those neighbors along the approximately 27 miles of recently cleared canal embankments.

Since this original vegetation management project was stopped, by a local Article 78 Environmental Review technicality, the NYS Canal Corporation has since renamed their "new" embankment clearing effort the Earthen Embankment Integrity PROGRAM and they have taken a much deeper view of the safety conditions along the canal. This new EEIP designation for the "same" type of dam remediation work is what has has essentially made the EERP Neighbor Class possible.

Most of rightfully feel like guinea pigs and our issues are all a result of the hasty methods used by the Canal Corporation on their initial EERP work.

To be eligible to be included in this Class Action, you must have property adjacent to an Erie Canal Embankment that was cleared, AND have a quantitative issues or loss as a result of the work to clear embankments adjacent to your property. That loss could be in property value, or your ability to use your property as you did BEFORE embankment clearing.

You will need to send me some information to be vetted, simple enough. You can contact me through this Forum in a private message as a member, or leave a comment on this post and I will get back to you as quickly as possible.

1) Please include your Name, Address, and a way to contact you email or phone. All information will only be used to show the number of people who would be willing to act as Plaintiffs in this Class Action

2) Please include a picture or two of the embankment adjacent to your property as well, take one from the back of your home showing what your view is.

If you have a before and after, even better.

3) Tell a short story, a few paragraphs, that describe your own experience and issues as a result of the NYS Canal Corporations Earthen Embankment Restoration Project. How has your life changed? Have you had any issues with trail users and privacy? Think of this as a statement you would be making to convince a group of attorneys that the NYS Canal Authority has been a neighbor that has caused you a loss, in some way.

4) Describe how the embankment clearing project has affected you, your property and your ability to use that property since the initial clearing has taken place. Also include any other information that would support your statements, including images if needed.

5) Check back to this ECNA Forum Post for more information or to update your information regularly. Here is a quick QR Code you can point your smartphone camera at to link directly to this page.




If needed please refresh your memory of the original EERP Project here: http://www.canals.ny.gov/vegetation/index.html


WHAT'S NEXT?

Once I have collected enough Erie Canal Neighbor's stories (at least 20-25), we will be pursuing this Class Action against the named defendants. There is a very good possibility that other NYS Government agencies may also be named in this Class Action for their failure to help address the issues that neighbors have voiced since the clearing, especially in the Brockport area. We could see some Village & Town Governments included in this Class Action Defendant list, as well as NYS Agencies like the State Department of Conservation, who approved this Embankment Action environmentally, without considering the most important part...humans living nearby.

Once we have established the class, the Legal Firm selected will decide who to include in the List of Defendants

Here's what has been going on with our own efforts to resolve similar privacy issues as an Erie Canal Neighbor from September 2020.

My wife & I have lost property value, the ability to sell our home and also lost our sense of security in our own home as we are not able to use many areas of our property now that all Empire Trail users have been invited into our lives as a result of these newly cleared embankments. We have pictures of the before and after at our home, most have been shared on this Forum.

We have videos of trespassers riding and walking dogs through our property coming off canal property. We have a video of someone urinating behind our house and backyard.

We have collected hundreds of email conversations between the NYS Canal Corporation, it's parent company New York Power Authority pleading with them to put in their promised barrier, and also to have some better control of their trail guests adhearing to the Rules & Guidelines of the Empire Trail

If you haven't seen those here they are:








After a few email exchanges with the ACLU, for evidence of the issues we are all facing, I received this reply:



Now we may not be using the ACLU for this case after we collect and review all Plaintiffs Information & Stories

There are many other nationally recognized legal firms that specialize in Class Actions and Torts against the State of New York and it's Agencies. Do not believe that old saying about "not being able to fight city hall", you can.. it's done through Class Action, and getting your voice heard. Hopefully we will gather enough in our Class group to have our voices heard as well.

Finally, here's just a little about Class Actions from the web, from various sources including this website below.

https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/how-are-damages-established-in-a-tort-claim-30946





If you want more information you can reach out to me at ErieCanalBrockport@gmail.com to send along your information or ask questions.

Your information will be shared only with the Legal Consultants that we find to help start this Class Action, once we have established the class

As we find out more on this we will share it with all participants. I strongly suggest you sign-up as a member on the ECNA Forum so that communication of the case details can be accomplished easier. It's painless and we do not email or ask for anything, but for you to use the Forum as we have asked... to solve issues.

Thanks for reading... more to come

Doug Kucmerowski
Co-Founder - Erie Canal Neighbors Association


« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 06:48:30 pm by Doug K »

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter


Doug K

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 527
  • Location: Brockport
    • ECNA US
Posted to the westside Nextdoor groups today... Under the SAFETY topic


Doug K

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 527
  • Location: Brockport
    • ECNA US
Some have asked what areas or neighbors along the Erie are affected by the original Earthen Embankment Restoration Project run by the Canal Corporation.

Here's a few map views below, by location, of the approximately 27 miles for the initial clearing EERP effort, from Middleport to Brockport.

Highest concentration of affected property owners is in the Brockport area by the look of the recent Google satellite maps, Maybe a close second is Albion & Medina.

I have also shown a few red numbers of homes/properties that lost 100% of the privacy they had when the embankment was cleared. In a Class Action, there is a sliding scale sometimes applied so that these folks would be compensated more than others who don't have this same issue of close proximity to the canal property and NO trees to separate them from the heavily travelled NY Empire Trail.

All parties along any of these areas should be evaluating their own situation and if you feel it's time to act, we suggest you do so by sending your information along.