City of Westerville ordered to pay $1.3 million in damages to property owner

It is a fundamental principle of eminent domain law that the entity taking the property must pay the property owner the sum of (i) the value of the property taken plus (ii) the diminished value to the remainder left to the property owner.

Somehow the City of Westerville not only misunderstood that law in the taking of land in that burb, but they also failed to understand the “damage” done to the remainder arising from the easement rights left to the property owner.  The result: a Jury awarded the landowner $182,000 for the land taken and $1.14 million for damages to his residue.  That’s a pretty hefty miscalculation by the City’s attorneys.

We litigated a similar claim against the City of Springboro years ago.  There, the Ohio Supreme Court thoroughly misunderstood the real property rights at issue.  We had to proceed in to Federal Court to vindicate the rights of our client, but did so successfully.

Back to the Westerville case: Read a good story in today’s Columbus Dispatch about the taking here; you can read the decision here.

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