Lowball Watch — California

Word reaches us from San Diego that the Tri-City Medical Center has decided to abandon a condemnation action it had filed earlier to take a three-story medical office building in Oceanside. The condemnor deposited $4.7 million, but after trial, a jury awarded $16.8 million, and the trial court also awarded litigation expenses in the amount of $2.2 million. See Paul Sisson, Tri-City Says It Wants to Abandon Eminent Domain Fight, San Diego Union, Dec. 19, 2016,


The unusual twist in this case is that the owners seek to prevent the condemnor from abandoning and are filing an appropriate motion with the court. They argue that under the circumstances, an abandonment of the condemnation action cannot restore the owners to the status quo ante. So far, the condemnor has spent some $2.6 million in litigation expenses of its own on this litigation.

More is certain to come, so we will try to keep an eye on this one. Stay tuned.