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.