Goldstein, Rikon & Rikon Secure $12.1 Million Award for CSX Transportation

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Lawyers from New York law firm demonstrate to State Court of Claims that CSX was entitled to damages for property taken by State of New York in eminent domain action

We were able to show that the bridges used by CSX, as of the taking, were functional and that there was no showing of any problem or variance from applicable standard or safety regulations

Attorneys from the New York law firm of Goldstein, Rikon & Rikon, the only law firm in New York practicing exclusively in the area of eminent domain and condemnation law, secured a $12.1 million award from the New York State Court of Claims for the permanent taking of easements owned by CSX Transportation, Inc.

The case, New York Central Lines v. State of New York (Claim No. 102648), was litigated in the New York State Court of Claims before the Hon. Alan C. Marin. Judge Marin's award to CSX Transportation (same entity as New York Central Lines) was for the actual amount of $12,104,006.00 and was filed on September 23, 2010.

In January 2000, the State appropriated a portion of what is known as the Freemont Secondary Line, a rail freight line that runs from the Oak Point Yard in the Bronx, across the East River via the Hell's Gate Bridge to Fresh Pond Junction in Queens. The State appropriated some 236,836 square feet in fee and 43,856 square feet by permanent easement. In addition, there were five temporary easements appropriated as well. The condemnation involved the demolition of three bridges, which were replaced with a longer span and new retaining walls.

Goldstein, Rikon & Rikon represented CSX in filing a claim under New York's eminent domain and condemnation law. Eminent domain refers to the sovereign's power to take private property for a public use, provided that "just compensation" is paid. At trial, the State of New York took the position that no damages were due to the claimant, CSX, for any of the property it took by eminent domain.

"We were able to show that the bridges used by CSX, as of the taking, were functional and that there was no showing of any problem or variance from applicable standard or safety regulations," said Michael Rikon, an experienced eminent domain attorney and partner at Goldstein, Rikon & Rikon. "More importantly, the Court reiterated the well-established law in the State of New York that improvements to remaining land can never be used to offset the value of the land taken in eminent domain."

Goldstein, Rikon & Rikon, P.C. was founded in 1923, when Samuel Goldstein and Nathan L. Goldstein created a law firm that established a strong tradition of aggressively protecting the constitutional rights of people who had their property forcibly acquired by condemnation or eminent domain. In 1994, Michael Rikon, who had been practicing condemnation and eminent domain law since 1969, merged his firm, Michael Rikon, P.C., with the Goldsteins to form Goldstein, Goldstein & Rikon, P.C. Earlier this year, Joshua H. Rikon, Jonathan M. Houghton and Philip A. Sanchez became partners in the law firm currently known as Goldstein, Rikon & Rikon, P.C. For more information, please call 212.422.4000 or go to http://www.ggrgpc.com.

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