Shopping center owners not entitled to consequential damages from street reconfigurations

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Boehm, Justice

In State v. Ensley, this Court held that roadway improvements that reduce or interfere with traffic flow to a commercial property do not constitute takings of a property right of the owner of the property. We reaffirm Ensley and hold that the shopping center owners are not entitled to consequential damages from street reconfigurations that affect traffic flow through the center and prevent expansion of existing points of ingress or egress, but leave existing points in place.

Conclusion (slip op. at 12):  Given the record testimony assessing the compensable takings at no more than $100,700, the $2,300,000 verdict is excessive as a matter of law. The judgment of the trial court is reversed and the cause remanded for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Key Analysis (slip op. at 10, 11, 12):  The only substantive allegation is that traffic flow to the shopping complex has been encumbered. Under Ensley and its progeny, these consequences from the State’s roadway improvements are not compensable because no property right has been taken . . . It is well settled that a property owner is not entitled to unlimited access to abutting property at all points along the highway . . . As a matter of law, under Ensley, the redirected traffic flow is not a deprivation of a property right.

Shepard, C.J., and Sullivan, J., concur. Dickson and Rucker, JJ., dissent, believing that the Court of Appeals correctly decided this case.

About Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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