May 1, 2014
BLF clients R&J Holding Company and RJ Florig Industrial Company, Inc. represented by Richard L. Bazelon recently settled their long-running lawsuit against the Redevelopment Authority of Montgomery County, developer Donald Pulver, and the affiliated companies.
In the lawsuit, R&J Holding and RJ Florig sought damages for taking of title and related property rights over the six year period during which the condemnation of the Florig property was litigated (Bazelon Less & Feldman represented R&J Holding in this first condemnation case). The Commonwealth Court declared the condemnation unlawful in 2001, and title was revested in 2002, so that R & J Holding was deprived of title for six plus years, although it and its tenant, RJ Florig Industrial, remained in possession.
Bazelon initially filed a takings claim on behalf of R&J Holding and RJ Florig in federal court in 2002 for loss of property rights for the six year period, but the court held that plaintiffs must first pursue their remedy in state court. After Pennsylvania state courts concluded that plaintiffs had no remedy for taking under state law, they re-filed a claim in federal court. In 2011, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that the takings claim could proceed in federal court and that the condemnor’s taking of property title constituted per se taking for which plaintiffs were entitled to compensation under the U.S. Constitution.
The settlement culminates almost two decades of BLF’s successful representation of their clients in this condemnation matter.