Lowball Watch – Louisiana

Little did we know when we started to cover the topic of attempted undercompensation by condemning agencies a while back, that it would prove to be so frequently recurring. Here is a doozy from Louisiana, as reported by Ownerscounsel.com. The case caption is State of Louisiana v. Monteleone, et al.

1987 State DOT offer for taking of some 153 acres out of a 14,034.948-acre tract of wetlands: $46,558. Jury verdict (at the end of first trial): $91,672. This judgment was reversed on appeal for jury misconduct. See 976 So.2d 791 (2008).

At the end of the second (non-jury)  trial, the verdict was $214,534.14 for the part taken, plus $1,584,442.54 in severance damages, plus interest on the additional just compensation of $1,584,442.54, plus expert cost in the amount of $173,030.00, plus $900,000.00 in attorney’s fees. Interest on expert costs and attorneys’ fees is yet to be calculated.

Altogether, according to our calculator, the total award comes to some $4,288,472, or some 92 times the original offer.



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