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Condemnation Law: Limitation on Accrual of Interest Upheld on Appeal

Carter Ledyard successfully represented Empire State Development on an appeal upholding a Supreme Court decision halting the accrual of interest on certain claims relating to ESD’s exercise of its eminent domain power to further Columbia University’s academic mixed-use development in West Harlem. Claimants in the case had sought additional time to file appraisals, and also had sought to depose ESD’s appraiser. ESD opposed the request for discovery and asked the court to cease the accrual of interest during the extension period. Since interest typically accrues at 9% until awards are made on such claims, the accrual of interest can have significant cost impacts. The cessation of the accrual of interest during the extension period was upheld despite the claimants’ assertion that interest on condemnation claims is an inviolable constitutional right. Partner John R. Casolaro and associates Victor J. Gallo and Theodore Y. McDonough represented ESD in the lower court and on the appeal.

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