Goldstein, Rikon, Rikon & Houghton, P.C. Obtains a Favorable Eminent Domain Decision for CSX Transportation, Inc.

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The decision will result in an eminent domain award in excess of $67 million dollars.

CSX Transportation, Inc., a successor in interest to New York Central Lines, LLC, obtained a favorable decision from a New York State appellate court, according to a recent court decision titled New York Central Lines v. State, 2016 NY Slip Op 05633 (2d Dept, July 27, 2016). The decision results from a claim that was filed in the New York State Court of Claims after the State of New York appropriated CSX's railroad corridor for the expansion of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

According to court documents, CSX was initially awarded the principal amount of $12,345,483 after a non-jury trial. The trial judge valued the underlying land, but he did not attribute any value for the use of the acquired property as a railroad corridor. That award was reversed by the appellate court in New York Central Lines v. State, 101 AD3d 966 (2d Dept. 2012), and the matter was sent back to the trial court for new determination as to the proper corridor factor, the factor that quantifies the importance and value of the corridor.

According to court documents, the only evidence of the corridor factor came from CSX and its expert appraiser, Charles Rex, the preeminent railroad corridor appraiser in the nation. While the trial court determined a corridor factor after the matter was remanded, it applied a factor that was not supported by the evidence. The appellate court, in reversing the trial court again, explained that the trial court should have accepted CSX’s expert’s determination of the corridor factor.

The case was handled by Jonathan Houghton, a partner in Goldstein, Rikon, Rikon & Houghton, P.C. Mr. Houghton said that “the award represents a clear victory not just for CSX, but for property owners everywhere." He added, "CSX will obtain almost all of the just compensation that it sought after 16 years of protracted litigation."

CSX’s counsel, Goldstein, Rikon, Rikon & Houghton, has been at the forefront of protecting property owners’ constitutional rights since 1923. It is the only law firm in New York State concentrating exclusively in the area of eminent domain and condemnation law. As Michael Rikon, one of the partners, has noted, “eminent domain cases represent a drastic operation of the law. You really only get one opportunity to litigate these cases; and because of that, they require tremendous vigilance by a knowledgeable attorney to ensure that justice prevails.” By limiting their practice to the trial of eminent domain cases, the attorneys at Goldstein, Rikon, Rikon & Houghton have become authorities in this area of the law, securing many significant awards for their clients. Michael Rikon is the New York State-designated eminent domain attorney for the Owners’ Counsel of America and a Counselor of Real Estate. All of the partners of GRRH, Michael Rikon, Joshua Rikon and Jonathan Houghton, are designated as Super Lawyers, a designation awarded to less than 5% of the lawyers in the State.

Jonathan Houghton can be reached at:

Goldstein, Rikon, Rikon & Houghton, P.C.
381 Park Avenue South, Suite 901
New York, New York 10016
direct dial: (212) 422-4186
main tel: (212) 422-4000

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