V&E Obtains Verdict Equivalent to Appraiser’s Compensation Estimate In Condemnation Trial
Vinson & Elkins recently won a jury trial for the owner of a refrigerated warehouse whose property was taken by the State of Texas to accommodate a highway expansion project.
At the conclusion of a seven-day trial led by V&E
condemnation partners George Murphy and David Wall, a Harris County jury
returned a verdict equivalent to the compensation sought by V&E for firm
client Beeson Sirota JV through its appraisal expert, Mark Sikes of Deal Sikes
and Associates. The jury’s verdict allowed for a net recovery to the
client of $8.35 million, which amount is 90 percent above the state’s offer to
the property owner during the administrative phase of the case.
The underlying dispute revolved around the state’s U.S. 290
Expansion Project. Through the exercise of its eminent domain powers, the
Texas Department of Transportation acquired Beeson Sirota’s warehouse
located on four acres on the West Loop in Houston. At a Special Commissioner’s
hearing that took place prior to trial, the state offered $4.4 million in
compensation, which V&E rejected on behalf of its client.
The case also involved a landlord and tenant disagreement
over ownership of refrigeration equipment located at the facility, for which
the trial court granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of Beeson Sirota
in the summer of 2017.