Sarasota County v. Atlantic Utilities of Sarasota, Inc., et al.
Sarasota County v. Atlantic Utilities of Sarasota, Inc., et al. Sarasota County condemned a privately-held utility company, offering $9.5 million. As a result of a two-week jury trial, the owner of the utility was awarded $17.5 million, the largest single jury award to date in a condemnation case on the West Coast of Florida.
Sarasota County Public Hospital Board v. Marc A. Grinberg, et al.
Sarasota County Public Hospital Board v. Marc A. Grinberg, et al. Hospital’s grand $100 million expansion plan included acquisition of three private medical office buildings. The doctor-owners of the buildings did not want to sell, but rather preferred to stay in their offices near the hospital and continue to serve their patients. The Hospital Board condemned the three buildings, claiming a “public necessity.” The owners fought back, proving at trial on the “taking” issue, that the Hospital Board’s reasons for its alleged necessity were faulty and at variance with the existing facts. The Court denied the Hospital Board’s attempted condemnation, and permitted the owners to stay. The Hospital was required to pay all the owners’ fees and costs incurred in the defense of their properties.
Corona, Fulford, Clemons v. The South Florida Water Management District.
Corona, Fulford, Clemons v. South Florida Water Management District In an inverse condemnation action against the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), the trial court ruled that over 1,800 acres of agricultural land bordering the Kissimmee River had been illegally flooded. The SFWMD had argued that its Kissimmee River Restoration Project had been scientifically designed so as not to flood the adjacent properties; however at trial the Court was persuaded by the owners’ presentation that the SFWMD’s computerized predictions were wrong and that the owners were entitled to compensation for the “flooding easement” of over 1,800 acres of land that the government had imposed.
Richard K. Bennett, Trustee v. Lee County and Lee County Port Authority.
Richard K. Bennett, Trustee v. Lee County and Lee County Port Authority In suit for violation of due process, Lee County and Lee County Port Authority were found to have illegally placed 2,543 acres of client’s property in a noise zone which prohibited residential use. Judge ruled that Lee County’s noise ordinance did not serve a valid public purpose and was arbitrary and unreasonable, and therefore unconstitutional. The noise ordinance restrictions were lifted from the client’s property.