ODOT Offers $16K, GBSK Secures $87.5K
Our client was a second generation owner of hillside property, which included a possible future building site overlooking the Ohio River.
Like most landowners, he was concerned when ODOT informed him that it had decided to take a portion of his property for the construction of a new freeway off-ramp and relocation of AEP power lines. ODOT offered the owner compensation only for the part taken and nothing for damage to the remaining property. In addition, ODOT’s offer for the land taken was at a value the owner felt was far lower than fair market value. ODOT’s position was that hillside land had very little value and that because ODOT was only taking a small fraction of the property, there was no compensable damage to the remaining property. As such, ODOT offered just over $16,000 in total compensation. But as the owner argued, although the property was largely hillside and ODOT was only taking part of the property, the installation of a freeway ramp near the property would greatly reduce its desirability for future building improvements. And because the parties could not agree on the compensation to be paid, ODOT filed an eminent domain lawsuit against the owner.
How We Helped
The owner enlisted the services of our firm to defend him in the lawsuit and negotiate with ODOT. Our firm in turn enlisted the services of a highly experienced eminent domain valuation expert who agreed that the property was valuable despite being on a hillside, and that ODOT’s taking caused significant damage to the value of the remaining property. With the support of that expert report and a willingness to go to trial if necessary, our firm engaged in diligent litigation and negotiations against ODOT.
We ultimately secured for the owners a monetary settlement of $87,500, which is more than 5 times ODOT’s offer, and which was based on a higher property value and included damages for the decrease in value of the remaining property. And we accomplished this without the need of a jury trial.