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.