“The State argued that my clients were only entitled to $150K. The jury awarded over $1 million more than that. This verdict reflects the true just compensation for my clients,” says Sever Storey attorney Tonny Storey.
Terre Haute, IN – (August 9,2013) – A Vigo County, Ind., jury has awarded $1.32 million for landowners subject to eminent domain by the State of Indiana. The property subject to the dispute was a 22-acre tract of commercial property in Terre Haute, Ind., situated directly off of an I-70 exit ramp.
THE ANDRES PROPERTY
Before the taking by the State of Indiana, the property was owned by a group of medical professionals from the Terre Haute area. Sylvia Andres, a local nurse, was the spokesperson for the group.
“We have invested a lot of our retirement assets in real estate in Terre Haute,” Andres said. “This property was our most important investment.” When the State first approached Andres about condemnation, she was shocked by how little the State was offering.
“I couldn’t believe how little they were offering,” Andres said. “I was very upset; this was a great piece of commercial property and a big part of our retirement plan, and they were just offering nothing.”
After Andres attended an eminent domain seminar held by the attorneys at Sever Storey, LLP, she knew that she needed help.
“When I first met the attorneys from Sever Storey they really seemed to know what they were doing. We really needed help.”
After settlement negotiations between the State and the landowners reached an impasse, both sides proceeded to a three-day jury trial on July 15-17. At the trial, the attorney for the State argued that the landowners’ property was worth substantially less than surrounding commercial property. The State essentially argued that the entire parcel did not have a commercial use and should be severely discounted because of its location. In its closing statement, the State asked for the jury to award compensation between 150K and 300K. The jury rejected this argument.
In building its case for the landowners, the team of lawyers at Sever Storey focused on evidence that showed the commercial use of the property and the values for commercial property in the area. A key fact developed by Sever Storey was the testimony of a national level developer who described the commercial uses of the landowners’ property.
“When we take a case to trial, we like to tell a story about the property,” said Phil Sever, an attorney with Sever Storey. “We had a real compelling story to tell about this piece of land; it was clearly the best remaining piece of commercial land with access to I-70 in this area. We took a lot of time in our case telling the story about how the land could have been used but for the State of Indiana taking it.”
After three full days of trial, the jury returned an award of $1.32 million.
“In Indiana, landowners facing eminent domain are entitled to just compensation,” said attorney Tonny Storey. “Just compensation is an amount of money that puts the landowner back into the same position that they would have been but for the State’s taking.”
Storey was pleased with the jury award stating, “The State argued that my clients were only entitled to $150K. The jury awarded over $1 million more than that. This verdict reflects the true just compensation for my clients I am very happy for my clients.”
Storey’s clients shared his enthusiasm.
“We are so excited and happy about the result,” said Andres. “Phil, Tonny, and all of the attorneys at Sever Storey did an outstanding job.”
ABOUT SEVER STOREY
At Sever Storey, we exclusively represent landowners who are facing eminent domain and/or condemnation. The attorneys of Sever Storey have over 25 years of combined legal experience and have been involved in hundreds of eminent domain and condemnation actions involving all forms of real estate—including farm land, residential and commercial properties. Our mission is simple: protect the rights of the landowners and hold the government or utility that is taking the land accountable.
Sever Storey has offices in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and North Carolina. We also have a large network of landowner attorneys that can provide advice and representation in any other state where Sever Storey does not currently have an office.
For more information about Sever Storey please visit our website at www.landownerattorneys.com or call us at 888-318-3761. For more information on this press release contact the director of communication at Sever Storey Keara Prom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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