Frog-Phobic Man Wins $1.6M Lawsuit

Developer turned his land into frog paradise

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 9, 2013 3:14 AM CDT | Updated Apr 9, 2013 4:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – An upstate New York man terrified of frogs has won a seven-year legal battle with a developer who flooded his 40-acre property, attracting vast numbers of the amphibians. Paul Marinaccio—who says his fear of frogs began when he was a child in Italy and he was chased by a man brandishing bullfrogs—was awarded $1.6 million from the town of Clarence and the developer he accuses of intentionally diverting water onto his land, although the court decided he was not entitled to $250,000 in punitive damages, the Buffalo News reports.

"You people don’t understand," Marinaccio testified in an earlier hearing. "I am petrified. I go home at night, and I can’t get in my garage because of the frogs. They’re right in front of the damn door, OK?" He said he sometimes had to get his grown daughter to come to his home and shoo away frogs. "In the winter, it’s OK, because I know there’s no frogs," he said. “But in the summertime, I mean I’m a damn prisoner in my own home." As part of the settlement, the town has agreed to dig a drainage channel to help solve his frog problem.

I'm petrified of the little creatures, Marinaccio testified.
"I'm petrified of the little creatures," Marinaccio testified.   (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Julio Cortez)
This is the stuff of Paul Marinaccio's nightmares.
This is the stuff of Paul Marinaccio's nightmares.   (AP Photo/Nevada Appeal, Brad Horn)
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