News

June 10, 2016

Fort Worth Court of Appeals Affirms Trial Court’s Judgment in Condemnation Case in Favor of Cantey Hanger Client

Fort Worth, Texas – June 10, 2016. The Fort Worth Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the Hood County Court at Law in State v. Stockton Bend 100, JV, No. 02-14-00307-CV in which Cantey Hanger client, Stockton Bend, Joint Venture, was successful at trial against the State.

The State condemned a portion of Stockton Bend’s property in 2011 for the construction of the Loop 567 Project in Granbury. At trial, Stockton Bend argued that the value of its remaining property was diminished by the State’s acquisition due to the elevation differential of the new Loop 567, unsafe driveway grade, drainage problems resulting from the State’s new concrete box culverts, driveway spacing requirements which would limit future access, and ambiguous and confusing language regarding access in the State’s own documents. The jury awarded Stockton Bend $1,128,277.

On appeal, the State complained about Stockton Bend’s damage testimony. The Fort Worth Court of Appeals held that Stockton Bend’s evidence was admissible and supported the jury’s verdict. Justice Bonnie Sudderth specifically held that the court properly admitted Stockton Bend’s evidence and arguments relating to the unsafe driveway access resulting from the taking and its effect on the value of the remaining property.

This opinion is an important win for landowners who are condemned by the State because it ensures that a jury is entitled to consider all aspects of the highway project—including drainage, safety of access, and future access—when considering just compensation due the landowner. Cantey Hanger Partners, John Johndroe, Mary Johndroe, Mary Barkley, Associate, Chris Brown, and Paralegal, Kellie Guinn, are proud to have assisted Stockton Bend in this matter.