Obtained Favorable Settlement in Complex Litigation Involving Damage to Clients’ Property from Landslide that Occurred During Government Sewer Project on the Property
May 16, 2013Kaufman & Company, as lead counsel for the Property Owners’ counterclaim and third party claims, obtained a favorable recovery in a settlement on behalf of two clients—a family-owned local business owning commercial property and a family-owned local outdoor advertising business—in a multi-party lawsuit that included complex and novel eminent domain issues. The litigation arose after a landslide occurred on the clients’ commercial property during a government project performed by the sewer district and its hired contractors, which caused significant damage to the land and a billboard owned by the outdoor advertising client. The Northeast Ohio Sewer District had entered the property without any valid contractual or other legal right to enter. Kaufman & Company prosecuted the property owners’ trespass and negligence claims against the sewer district’s contractors as well as a contractor that performed work previously on the property. In addition, Kaufman & Company prosecuted the property owners’ “inverse condemnation” claim against the sewer district, upon which the firm successfully compelled the sewer district to commence an eminent domain action to determine just compensation for “taking” the clients’ property. Kaufman & Company’s efforts resulted in denial of dispositive motions by the defendants on all these claims, and its clients also prevailed on numerous, hotly-contested evidence motions in limine. During jury selection, a favorable settlement was reached on both clients’ claims.