Anderson v. Bauer – Case Brief Summary (Wyoming)

In Anderson v. Bauer, 681 P.2d 1316 (Wyo. 1984), the Court addressed a similar claim in which several homeowners sought to recover for property damage which occurred as a result of water seepage.

In that case, the Court explained that the statute of limitations begins to run when the injured party knows or reasonably ought to know that some damage has resulted from the wrongful act even though the damage is slight, it continues to occur, or additional damage caused by the same wrongful act may result in the future. 681 P.2d at 1321.

Although based upon a different statute of limitations, this Court held in part: "Each homeowner's cause of action accrued on or about the date water seepage was first noticed and damage occurred." Id.

The language of the Wyoming Governmental Claims Act does not direct the application of a different rule when the government is a possible tortfeasor.

In Anderson v. Bauer, the court placed primary responsibility on builders and contractors to ensure the suitability of the land for construction of residences.

There, the lots at issue were suitable for some form of dwelling house, although some of the lots were admittedly unfit for homes with basements. Id. at 1323.

But, as the court observed, "whether the particular house to be built was a house with no basement, a half basement, a tri-level house, or a full basement was a decision not involving the developer." Id. Therefore, the court relied on the knowledge and judgment of the builder in finding that the developer had satisfied his duty and was not liable to homeowners.