Lowball Watch — Louisiana

Word reaches us that in an eminent domain taking of a parking lot by Louisiana State University for a Medical Center, the offer was $172,000, but after trial the court awarded a total of over $500.000, including attorneys fees, business losses, and future lost profits. The Louisiana Court of Appeal affirmed, and the state Supreme Court denied review, thus making the trial court judgment final. Interest on the award (at 5%) is yet to be calculated.

In an unusual twist, the court also awarded damages for mental anguish suffered by the owner during the ten days of pre-expropriation trespass during which the condemnor removed personal property from the subject property, and cleared and graded the land.

Keep in mind, however, that under the unique provision of the Louisiana Constitution, a condemnee is entitle not just to the fair market value of his land and improvements, but to all damages, “to the full extent of his loss.”