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  • Carter Ledyard Obtains Favorable Decision on Behalf of Suffolk County Following Bench Trial On Damages Caused by Easement Acquired Pursuant to Eminent Domain Powers As Part of Fire Island Dune Project

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Carter Ledyard Obtains Favorable Decision on Behalf of Suffolk County Following Bench Trial On Damages Caused by Easement Acquired Pursuant to Eminent Domain Powers As Part of Fire Island Dune Project

Carter Ledyard obtained a favorable decision on behalf of its client Suffolk County following a bench trial before Justice John J. Leo, Supreme Court, Suffolk County, as to the damages caused by the County’s acquisition, using its eminent domain power, of easements on two properties in Dunewood, NY, in connection with the Fire Island Inlet to Moriches Inlet (FIMI) Project, a beach stabilization project undertaken by the County of Suffolk, the State of New York, and the Army Corps of Engineers to repair and maintain sand dunes damaged by Superstorm Sandy along the 12.5 mile coastline of Fire Island. The Court largely accepted the positions put forth by the County’s appraiser and land use expert and rejected claimants’ arguments that the easements amounted to de facto fee takings and substantially destroyed their properties’ values. On the Rothberg claim, claimant recovered no additional compensation. On the Reffold claim, claimants recovered approximately 10% of the additional compensation sought. As part of its decision the Court held that a large part of the reduction in value caused by the easements needed to be offset by the benefits generated by the FIMI Project. Suffolk County was represented by Carter Ledyard partner John Casolaro, counsel Lee Ohliger, and associate Madelyn White.

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