BLF attorney Richard L. Bazelon obtained a favorable verdict for his client, a developer, whose land had been condemned for a new highway.
The case involved issues concerning "severance damages," that is, the extent to which the taking of a portion of a property affects the value of the entire property. Following a four-day jury trial, the jury reached a verdict that was close to the amount which BLF's client was seeking and significantly exceeded the fair market value of the condemned property advocated by PennDOT.
Subsequently, after an additional evidentiary hearing, the court awarded to the client delay damages for the period starting in 2001 – the year of the taking – on the grounds that the taking had deprived the client of the ability to put the property to productive use. The court rejected PennDOT’s arguments that delay damages were not warranted because the client had, at all times, retained physical possession of the condemned property.