GBSK Secures 4x Higher Settlement Than ODOT's Offer
Our clients were second generation owners of a small-town lumber yard and hardware store that had served their local community for more than fifty years.
Like most landowners, they were concerned when ODOT informed them that it had decided to take a portion of their property they had been using for lumber storage to widen and straighten the abutting state highway. ODOT offered the owners compensation only for the part taken and nothing for damage to the remaining property. ODOT’s position was that because it was only taking a small fraction of the property, there was no compensable damage to the remaining property. But as the owners argued, although ODOT was only taking a small fraction of the property, the nature of the take called into question the viability of the property to continue to support their lumber operation in the future, and therefore caused the value of the remaining property to decrease. ODOT did not want to pay for this decrease in property value. And because the parties could not agree on the compensation to be paid, ODOT filed an eminent domain lawsuit against the owners.
How We Helped
The owners enlisted the services of our firm to defend them in the lawsuit and negotiate with ODOT. GBSK in turn enlisted the services of a highly experienced eminent domain valuation expert who agreed that ODOT’s taking caused significant damage to the value of the owners’ remaining property. With the support of that expert report and a willingness to go to trial if necessary, GBSK engaged in diligent litigation and negotiations against ODOT.
GBSK ultimately secured for the owners a monetary settlement that was 4 times more than ODOT’s original offer, which included damages for the decrease in property value, and did so without the need of a jury trial.