NY man wins $1.6 million due to phobia of frogs

Sarah Hofmann Contributor
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The town of Clarence, New York has to pay $1.6 million to resident Paul Marinaccio Sr. after a seven-year legal battle over runoff water. A developer working for the town diverted the water from one of their properties and it accidentally turned Marinaccio’s property into wetlands, WTOP reports.

Marinaccio suffers from a phobia of frogs, rooted in his childhood in Italy. He told  jurors that the sudden influx of bullfrogs on his land turned him “into a prisoner in [his] own home.” He testified in 2009, “I am petrified. I go home at night and I can’t get in my garage because of the frogs.”

In a March 21 opinion, New York’s highest court described the effects of the wetland on Marinaccio, writing, “Consequently, plaintiff had problems traversing his property without the assistance of his family and friends, whom plaintiff would often call on to remove frogs from his driveway and near the door of his home.”

The city and developer will dig further ditches to divert the water off Marinaccio’s land in addition to paying the agreed settlement.

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Sarah Hofmann