Most ridiculous lawsuits: Harvey Cedars homeowners demand payment from town for spoiling ocean view

HARVEY CEDARS— Thanks to a line of recently erected two-story-high sand dunes, Harvey and Phyllis Karan’s $1.7 million oceanfront house, and the town, stood fast when Sandy stormed ashore.

Sandy is long gone, but another storm is raging in this small borough of 1,200 homes, one that could swamp taxpayers on every barrier island in the state by adding tens of millions of dollars to the cost of building dunes.

The Karans are demanding that the town pay them $375,000 for damaging their ocean view. How? By building the dune in front of their house, the very dune that officials say saved their property from Sandy last month.

The couple won the judgment in state court last year, and the borough has appealed to the state Supreme Court. The couple’s lawyer said that despite the protection the dune provided to the Karans’ 2,112-square-foot summer home, which they owned since 1973, the borough still needs to pay up.

“I don’t think that the storm affects the court case at all,” said Peter H. Wegener, the couple’s attorney ...

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