Partial Acquisitions: A Case Study on Severance Damages, Offsetting Project Benefits and Mitigation Strategies
Most professionals in the right-of-way industry are generally aware that partial acquisitions may entitle a property owner to receive compensation not only for the value of the land taken, but also for any damages caused to the remainder property due to the loss of the part taken and/or the project’s construction in the manner proposed. Each case involving a partial acquisition presents opportunities for effective and proactive strategies to mitigate severance damages.
On August 4, 2021, David Graeler along with special guests Scott Delahooke and Matt Webb examined a case that involved carefully drafted easements that minimized exposure to severance damages, a partial abandonment following a changed project design and several different experts who worked together to formulate compelling opinions to address the claims. During this presentation, we discussed:
- The nuts and bolts of severance damages and offsetting project benefits;
- The challenges that design-build projects often pose for right-of-way acquisition;
- The importance of carefully drafting easements based on project need and condemnee input;
- Strategies for addressing changing right-of-way needs once the eminent domain action has been filed either through project re-design or condemnee input; and
- The interplay of issues with valuation and engineering opinions.