Congratulations to RQN’s litigation team, Jeff Appel, Matt Evans, and Aaron Hinton, who recently prevailed for their client before the Utah Supreme Court in a complex condemnation matter Utah Department of Transportation v. Target Corporation, et. al., 2020 UT 10.
The RQN team represented the owners of the Alpine Valley Shopping Center in American Fork. At trial, the jury awarded RQN’s clients approximately $2.4 million in “severance damages” based on loss of visibility and access for their property – the Alpine Valley Shopping Center in American Fork. The shopping center had been specifically sited based on the visibility of and the access to and from the parcel from I-15 and State Street.
On appeal, the Utah Court of Appeals affirmed the jury’s verdict at 2018 UT App 24. UDOT then appealed to the Utah Supreme Court. The Utah Supreme Court affirmed the conclusion of the Court of Appeals. Mr. Appel handled oral argument on appeal. In its written opinion, the Court reconciled the disparities in numerous prior Supreme Court cases regarding the award of severance damages and otherwise clarified those legal standards in a manner that would allow severance damages to flow from the use of the taken property for the “improvement” constructed by UDOT.
Mr. Appel said of the case, “The end result is a streamlined and consistent statutory basis for submitting proof of severance damages and the removal of several unwieldy concepts regarding the award of severance damage from the caselaw.”
Mr. Appel and Mr. Evans are experienced trial and appellate lawyers who represent clients on land issues, property takings and condemnation litigation matters. Mr. Hinton is a rising litigation associate.
The Utah Supreme Court’s entire opinion can be reviewed here.