News & Publications

Recent Developments in Takings Litigation

The question of whether and when aircraft overflights constitute a taking of property under the U.S. and state constitutions persists, notwithstanding numerous cases on the subject over many decades.  On July 17, 2012, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin concluded that a taking occurs when “government action results in aircraft flying over a landowner’s property low enough and with sufficient frequency to have a direct and immediate effect on the use and enjoyment of the property.”  In this case, the plaintiff landowners alleged inverse condemnation, nuisance, and trespass as a result of overflights caused by a runway extension at the nearby New Richmond Regional Airport.  The court remanded the case to the circuit court to make further factual findings and apply the standard to determine whether takings occurred under the facts of the case.  Firm partner Eric Pilsk recently authored an article on the subject of takings litigation for the DePaul University International Aviation Law Institute’s journal.