Smith v MBTA

The Case: Mabel E. Smith and Ralph A. Smith v. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
The Court: Plymouth County Superior Court
The Original Pro Tanto Payment: $450,000
The Judgment: $1,650,000

In order to build a parking lot for the Old Colony Commuter Line, the MBTA took the Smiths’ salvage yard but only paid them $450,000, claiming that the property had contamination issues.

The Smiths engaged The McLaughlin Brothers, who along with their hazardous waste and valuation experts, determined not only that there was no contamination but that the highest and best use of the property was to develop it as a retail location.  Judgment entered in favor of the Smiths for $1,200,000.

Leland v Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The Case: Edmund F. Leland, III, et al v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts
The Court: Dukes County Superior Court
The Original Pro Tanto Payment: $0
The Judgment: $3,000,000

In order to connect two public beaches, the Commonwealth took the Lelands’ beach on Chappaquiddick Island, Martha’s Vineyard.  The Commonwealth’s position was that the Lelands did not own the beach, and that they were owed nothing.

The Lelands hired The McLaughlin Brothers to pursue their rights.  This case involved sophisticated title, erosion and valuation issues.  The McLaughlin Brothers were able to prove not only that the Leland family owned the beach, but also that the Commonwealth had to pay the Lelands, resulting in a $3,000,000 judgment.

P.A. Landers v Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The Case: P. A. Landers, Inc. and Mayflower Sand & Gravel Co., Inc. v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts
The Court: Plymouth County Superior Court
The Original Pro Tanto Payment: $3,850,000
The Judgment: $12,388,000

In order to build a section of Route 44 in Plymouth, the Commonwealth took a portion of P. A. Landers’ sand and gravel pit by eminent domain.  The Commonwealth’s position was that the vacant land was only worth $3,850,000.

P. A. Landers engaged The McLaughlin Brothers to analyze their case.  After hiring a team of equipment, sand and gravel, operation and appraisal experts, The McLaughlin Brothers determined that the highest and best use of the property was as a fully integrated sand, gravel, concrete and asphalt processing operation.  We successfully argued that the Commonwealth had dramatically underpaid for the land, resulting in a judgment of $12,388,000.

Independence Park v Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The Case: Independence Park, Inc. v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts
The Court: Barnstable County Superior Court
Pro Tanto Payment: $5,100,000
The Judgment: $11,400,000

The Commonwealth used its eminent domain power to take an undeveloped portion of Hyannis’ Independence Park to protect rare and endangered plants and animals, taking the position that the property was undevelopable because of the presence of endangered species.  The property owner hired The McLaughlin Brothers to represent it.  The McLaughlin Brothers hired a team of expert wetland scientists, hydrologists, geologists, engineers, land use and appraisal experts to prove that the real purpose of the taking was to protect nearby water wells, and that the vacant land could have been developed in an environmentally sensitive manner.  The trial resulted in a judgment of $11,400,000.

Gillette v Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The Case: Gillette Manufacturing (USA), Inc. v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts
The Court: Suffolk County Superior Court
The Original Pro Tanto Payment: $3,077,800
The Judgment: $7,577,800

In order to build a portion of the Third Harbor Tunnel, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts took by eminent domain a portion of vacant land adjacent to Gillette World Shaving Headquarters in South Boston. The Commonwealth’s position was that the site had marginal development value.

Gillette retained The McLaughlin Brothers to pursue its case against the Commonwealth. This case involved complicated environmental, engineering, permitting and valuation issues. The case focused on the fair market value of the land for its highest and best use as a commercial real estate development site. The McLaughlin Brothers obtained a total of $7,577,800 for Gillette.

Cullaz v Attleboro

The Case: Theresa E. Anderson and Tamara J. Cullaz v. Attleboro Redevelopment Authority
The Court: Bristol County Superior Court
The Original Pro Tanto Payment: $207,000
The Judgment: $1,100,000

In order to build the Attleboro Industrial/Business Park Project, the Attleboro Redevelopment Authority (“ARA”) used its eminent domain power to take 13 acres of the plaintiffs’ land.  The ARA paid $207,000 for the land, taking the position it was too difficult and expensive to develop.  The plaintiffs took the position that their property could be developed as a residential subdivision and had a fair market value of $1,465,000.  Construction of the Attleboro Industrial/Business Park started soon after.

The plaintiffs engaged The McLaughlin Brothers to seek additional compensation for their land.  Unable to reach an agreement with ARA officials, we took the case to court.

The case centered on the fair market value of the land if it were developed as a single-family residential subdivision.  We successfully argued to the jury that the ARA was exaggerating the property’s environmental problems and development obstacles, and that the fair market value of the land would be much higher if the plaintiffs had been able to sell it to a residential real estate developer.

After a one-week trial, the jury agreed, awarding the plaintiffs a judgment of $1,100,000 plus $123,000 in interest, approximately six (6) times the $207,000 originally paid by the taking authority.

Casella v Groton Dunstable

The Case: Casella v. Groton-Dunstable Regional School District
The Court: Middlesex County Superior Court
The Original Pro Tanto Payment: $1,800,000
The Judgment: $4,138,000

In order to build a new high school, the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District used its eminent domain power to take 177 acres of the Casella family’s land.  The School District paid $1.8 million for the land based on their own appraisals.  The Casellas had asked for $4.8 million based on the buildable value of the land.  Construction of the school started soon after.

The Casellas engaged The McLaughlin Brothers to seek additional compensation for their land.  Unable to reach an agreement with school officials, we took the case to court.

The case centered on the fair market value of the land if it were developed as a single-family residential subdivision.  We successfully argued to the jury that the School District exaggerated the property’s environmental problems and development obstacles, and that the fair market value of the land would be much higher if the Casellas had been able to sell it to a residential real estate developer.

After an eight-day trial, the jury agreed, awarding the Casellas a judgment of $4,138,000.

Cadillac Fairview v Burlington

The Case: Cadillac Fairview Urban Development Corporation v. Town of Burlington
The Court: Middlesex Superior Court
The Original Pro Tanto Payment: $660,000
The Judgment: $10,500,000

In order to preserve open space, the Town of Burlington took by eminent domain 221 acres of land owned by one of the largest commercial development firms in the country.  Burlington paid $660,000 for the land based in part on their analysis that it was landlocked.

Cadillac Fairview hired The McLaughlin Brothers and filed suit against Burlington for the property’s true fair market value.  The case involved complicated access, utility, engineering and appraisal issues.  The McLaughlin Brothers’ position was that the property was not landlocked, but that it was a highly desirable commercial development site at the intersection of Routes 3 and 128 with a fair market value of $10,500,000.  After a two-week trial, the jury agreed, returning a judgment of $10,500,000.