Buck v. Allied Chemical Corp.

Decision Date10 July 1980
Citation77 A.D.2d 782,431 N.Y.S.2d 222
PartiesWilliam BUCK and Carolyn Buck, Respondents, v. ALLIED CHEMICAL CORPORATION, Appellant.
CourtNew York Supreme Court — Appellate Division

Bond, Schoeneck & King, Syracuse, for appellant, by Thomas R. Smith, syracuse.

Graham & Egleston, Tully, for respondents, by Scott F. Chatfield, Tully.



Plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment determining that they have perpetual rights to water from defendant's private water supply system to be supplied to them at defendant's sole cost and expense, or alternatively, that defendant must supply them with a new water supply system (presumably a well) to their residence. They also seek a permanent injunction prohibiting the discontinuance of the present water supply. Defendant appeals from an order which granted plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction and denied defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment.

In 1973 plaintiffs paid $8,700 for a "company house" owned by defendant in Tully, New York. The house was supplied with water, as were about 20 others owned by defendant, from a spring and chlorination house owned by defendant and located some 15,000 feet south of plaintiffs' property. Subsequent to the sale to plaintiffs, defendant decided that the cost (which it estimates at $11,000 per year) of maintaining the water supply system for these houses was too expensive and would become more so because of increasing governmental regulation. Accordingly, before selling each of the remaining houses, it drilled a well on each lot to supply it and discontinued the existing water supply from the spring as each well was completed. Plaintiffs' house is now the only property presently served by defendant's spring. Defendant notified plaintiffs in May, 1978 that it intended to terminate water service and it requested that they make alternative arrangements promptly. It has granted them various extensions for that purpose but to date plaintiffs have done nothing. They insist that defendant must maintain this well house, chlorination system and three-mile line to supply them with free water forever after. They base their claim of right on an alleged oral promise made by an unnamed employee of defendant at the time of sale and on a claim that they are beneficiaries of an implied easement on defendant's property.

The alleged oral promise to supply the water is unenforceable because of the parol evidence rule (see Fogelson v. Rackfay Constr. Co, 300 N.Y. 334, 90 N.E.2d 881) or, if considered separate and distinct from the parties' written agreement, because of the Statute of Frauds (see General Obligations Law, § 5-701 subd. a, par. 1; Wahl v. Barnum, 116 N.Y. 87, 98, 22 N.E. 280). If plaintiffs are to succeed in this action, they must do so upon their theory of implied easement.

It is well settled that when the owner of a tract of land conveys a part of it to another, he impliedly grants all those apparent and visible easements which at the time of the grant are necessary for the reasonable use of the property granted and which are used by the owner of the entirety for the benefit of the part granted (Paine v. Chandler, 134 N.Y. 385, 387, 32 N.E. 18; Tufts v. Byrne, 278 App.Div. 783, 784, 104 N.Y.S.2d 74). This rule is based upon the evident and probable intention of the parties to the deed as manifested by the circumstances surrounding the transaction. "The parties are presumed to contract in reference to the condition of the property at the time of the sale, and neither has a right, by altering arrangements then openly existing, to change materially the relative value of the respective parts" (Lampman v. Milks, 21 N.Y. 505, 507).

Nonetheless, implied easements are not favored by the law and the burden of proof rests with the party asserting the existence of the...

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  • Knafelc v. Edwards
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court
    • January 11, 2013
    ...for [see Ryerson Tower, Inc. v. St. James Towers, Inc., 131 A.D.2d 744, 517 N.Y.S.2d 48 [2nd Dept., 1987]; Buck v. Allied Chem. Corp., 77 A.D.2d 782, 431 N.Y.S.2d 222 [4th Dept., 1980]; Zentner v. Fiorentino, 52 A.D.2d 1036, 384 N.Y.S.2d 297 [4th Dept., 1976]. Therefore, pursuant to the mot......
  • Monte v. Di Marco
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • April 14, 1993
    ...(see, Heyman v. Biggs, 223 N.Y. 118, 125, 119 N.E. 243; Paine v. Chandler, 134 N.Y. 385, 387, 32 N.E. 18; Buck v. Allied Chem. Corp., 77 A.D.2d 782, 782-783, 431 N.Y.S.2d 222). Thus, a grantee claiming an easement implied by existing use must establish: (1) a unity and subsequent severance ......
  • Devine v. Village of Port Jefferson
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of New York
    • April 26, 1994
    ...268, 270 (3rd Dep't 1983), aff'd, 62 N.Y.2d 1028, 479 N.Y.S.2d 498, 468 N.E.2d 680 (1984). See also Buck v. Allied Chemical Co., 77 A.D.2d 782, 431 N.Y.S.2d 222, 223-24 (4th Dep't 1980). In order to establish an easement by implication, the following four elements must be present: (1) the r......
  • Pastore v. Zlatniski
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • August 11, 1986
    ...Abbott v. Herring, 97 A.D.2d 870, 469 N.Y.S.2d 268, affd. 62 N.Y.2d 1028, 479 N.Y.S.2d 498, 468 N.E.2d 680; Buck v. Allied Chem. Corp., 77 A.D.2d 782, 431 N.Y.S.2d 222; McQuinn v. Tantalo, 41 A.D.2d 575, 339 N.Y.S.2d 541, lv. denied 32 N.Y.2d 610, 344 N.Y.S.2d 1025, 297 N.E.2d 524). Moreove......
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