Brown v. Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
$150,000 Verdict
Date of Verdict:
June 23.
Court and Case No.:
C.P. Philadelphia No. 2015-24867.
Steven C. Tolliver.
Type of Action:
Eminent domain.
Inadequate compensation.
Plaintiffs Counsel:
Herbert Bass, Fox Rothschild, Philadelphia.
Defense Counsel:
Mark D. Bradshaw, Stevens & Lee; Harrisburg.
Plaintiffs Expert:
Michael Samuels, appraisal, Wayne.
Defense Expert:
Robert Zogorski, appraisal, Lancaster.
In 2010, plaintiff Nancy Brown, a veterinarian, had a portion of her land, in Plymouth Meeting, taken by the state.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission took 0.759 acres of her land, located at 2303 Hickory Road, for a temporary construction easement (TCE). The commission’s project, which lasted from 2010 to 2015, included road widening and installation of a noise barrier.
Brown, who ran a veterinarian hospital on the property, was paid $50,000 for the easement.
She believed that she was unfairly compensated and that the taking of the property prevented her from constructing a canine rehabilitation facility.
Brown sued the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, alleging inadequate compensation under the eminent domain code.
Brown’s expert in real estate appraisal testified that the TCE interfered with her ability to develop additional acreage, resulting in a loss of fair market value of $1.1 million.
The commission’s expert in real estate appraisal maintained that the $50,000 in compensation was fair and reasonable. Counsel questioned Brown’s stated intentions to develop a rehabilitation facility, given that she had not at any time, before or after the TCE, applied for the necessary permits, and still had not done so at the time of trial.
Brown sought to recover $1.6 million, which was a $.5 million over her expert’s assessment of the property.
The jury determined that Brown would receive $150,000. Since the commission had already paid her $50,000, the amount was reduced to $100,000.
This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s and defense counsel.
This report first appeared in VerdictSearch, an ALM publication •