October 6th, 2010 — By — In News & Events

NY State Court of Claims: CSX entitled to $12.1 million in damages for property taken by eminent domain

The following press release regarding a recent NY Court of Claims ruling awarding just compensation of $12.1 million to the property owner in an eminent domain action is available in its entirety here.

New York, New York (October 1, 2010) — Attorneys from the New York law firm of Goldstein, Rikon & Rikon, the only law firm in New York practicing exclusively in the area of eminent domain and condemnation law, secured a $12.1 million award from the New York State Court of Claims for the permanent taking of easements owned by CSX Transportation, Inc.

The case, New York Central Lines v. State of New York (Claim No. 102648), was litigated in the New York State Court of Claims before the Honorable Alan C. Marin. Judge Marin’s award to CSX Transportation (same entity as New York Central Lines) was for the actual amount of $12,104,006.00 and was filed on September 23, 2010.

In January 2000, the State appropriated a portion of what is known as the Freemont Secondary Line, a rail freight line that runs from the Oak Point Yard in the Bronx, across the East River via the Hell’s Gate Bridge to Fresh Pond Junction in Queens. The State appropriated some 236,836 square feet in fee and 43,856 square feet by permanent easement. In addition, there were five temporary easements appropriated as well. The condemnation involved the demolition of three bridges, which were replaced with a longer span and new retaining walls.

Goldstein, Rikon & Rikon, P.C. represented CSX in filing a claim under New York’s eminent domain law. Eminent domain refers to the government’s power to take private property for a public use, provided that “just compensation” is paid. At trial, the State of New York took the position that no damages were due to CSX/New York Central Lines for any of the property it took by eminent domain.

“We were able to show that the bridges used by CSX, as of the taking, were functional and that there was no showing of any problem or variance from applicable standard or safety regulations,” said Michael Rikon, an experienced eminent domain attorney and partner at Goldstein, Rikon & Rikon. “More importantly, the Court reiterated the well-established law in the State of New York that improvements to remaining land can never be used to offset the value of the land taken in eminent domain.”

Disclosure: Michael Rikon is the New York member of the Owners’ Counsel of America.

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