ILNews

COA affirms $2.3 million damage award

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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An Evansville shopping center owner is entitled to $2.3 million in damages for loss of access to a public thoroughfare resulting from a state highway project, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.

The court's unanimous decision came in State of Indiana v. Kimco of Evansville, Inc., No. 82A01-0607-CV-301, affirming a Vanderburgh Circuit jury award that stems from the road project in 2000 impacting the Plaza East Shopping Center along State Road 66 and Green River Road.

In June 2000, the state took 0.154 acres of Plaza East (owned by Kimco) along Green River Road as part of the construction project to improve access to the state highway. Part of the project involved putting in a concrete median and changing the setup of the shopping center's two entrances, causing traffic backups and a loss of business by the time the trial began early last year.

A four-day trial in February 2006 resulted in a jury verdict of $2.3 million for Kimco, or a total judgment of almost $3.2 million with legal costs and interest. The state appealed, arguing that Kimco cannot be compensated for its loss of access as a matter of law, and that the trial court improperly admitted evidence of damages associated with the loss of access and incorrectly instructed the jury on that issue.

But in its 17-page decision that includes diagrams to map out the area being debated, the appellate judges determined that Kimco was entitled to the damages since the state had taken property and the access and the reconfiguration of the entrances amounted to more than a "mere inconvenience."

The court cited an Indiana Supreme Court ruling from January in Biddle v. BAA Indianapolis LLC, 860 N.E.2d 570, 575 (Ind. 2007), as rationale in making its decision. That decision involving the Indianapolis International Airport clarified when a taking has occurred as a question of law.

In this case, the concrete median and refigured turn and driving lanes in front of the property contributed to the problem, the court said.

"Any one of these changes by itself might not amount to a taking of access rights. When considering all of these changes, however, we conclude that a taking has occurred as a matter of law," the court wrote. "The state's reconfiguration of Green River Road and the changes to the Southern Entrance and Northern Entrance are peculiar to Plaza East and Kimco, and the changes are 'of a degree that exceeds mere inconvenience.'"
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  1. Indianapolis employers harassment among minorities AFRICAN Americans needs to be discussed the metro Indianapolis area is horrible when it comes to harassing African American employees especially in the local healthcare facilities. Racially profiling in the workplace is an major issue. Please make it better because I'm many civil rights leaders would come here and justify that Indiana is a state the WORKS only applies to Caucasian Americans especially in Hamilton county. Indiana targets African Americans in the workplace so when governor pence is trying to convince people to vote for him this would be awesome publicity for the Presidency Elections.

  2. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  3. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  4. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  5. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

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