Eminent Domain Selected Results & Case Studies


Partial Taking – Vacant Land Zoned for Office

Ryan & Ryan obtained a $13,810,920 jury verdict against the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (“Tollway”). The Tollway appealed the jury verdict and while the appeal was pending the parties settled for $12,763,447 and filed a joint request to dismiss the appeal. The Appellate Court refused to dismiss the appeal and issued an opinion that vacated the jury verdict and ordered that a new trial take place. Ryan & Ryan sued the Appellate Court judges and the Tollway to enforce the settlement in the Illinois Supreme Court. The Illinois Supreme Court agreed with Ryan & Ryan, vacated the Appellate Court opinion and ordered the Tollway to pay the $12,763,447.

Partial Taking – Surface Parking Lot

Ryan & Ryan represented the owner of a pay-parking lot in the south loop that was offered $3,000,000 by the City of Chicago for the taking of the entire property. Ryan & Ryan challenged the taking and the City agreed to convert the taking to only a 12,000 square foot air easement for the elevated CTA. The City agreed to pay $7,000,000, and agreed that the owner could continue to park cars under the air easement, and if developed, to build under and over the air easement. Our client was so pleased with the result that he agreed to double the attorneys’ fees provided in our contract.

Partial Taking – Commercial Building

The Chicago Transit Authority (“CTA”) filed an action to acquire a three-story retail building on a 7,500 square foot lot, adjacent to the Belmont Avenue Station. The CTA offered the owner $1,500,000 for the whole property. Ryan & Ryan obtained $4,250,000 plus relocation and moving expenses for the owner. In addition, per our settlement, the CTA deeded back to the owner one half of the 7,500 square foot lot upon completion of the construction of the new station.

Partial Taking – Waste Transfer & Recycling Facility

Ryan & Ryan represented the owner of a 6.574-acre recycling facility and waste transfer station. The Tollway sought to acquire 2.396-acres and offered $4,595,000. We settled the taking with the Tollway for $20,563,024. In addition, the Tollway gave our client 4.5 acres of land adjacent to their property so they could rebuild the waste transfer station that was taken. The Tollway also agreed to allow our client to use the Tollway’s detention ponds for all stormwater detention. The value of the additional land our client received was $3,700,000 making the total settlement approximately $24,263,024.

Full Taking – Vacant Commercial Land

Ryan & Ryan represented a property owner in Palatine who was offered $10,000,000 for vacant land. Ryan & Ryan obtained a judgment order that awarded $16,570,000 in cash and an interest-bearing note. The judgment order also provided that the owner receive a 45% interest in the development that was eventually built on the property. The development was later sold, and the owner received $3,990,000 for his interest. The total compensation the owner received was $20,560,000 plus interest on the note.

Full Taking – Waste Transfer & Recycling Facility

The City of Chicago filed a complaint to condemn a waste transfer and recycling center on the north side of O’Hare Airport in Des Plaines, Illinois. The City of Chicago had the property appraised and offered the owner $600,000 for the entire property. Ryan & Ryan argued the property had special value due to its use as a waste transfer and recycling center. The result Ryan & Ryan obtained for the owner was $4,175,000 or almost seven times greater than the City’s initial offer of just compensation.

Partial Taking – Stone Crushing Facility

Ryan & Ryan obtained $4,015,359 for an owner in Kane County that originally was offered $367,000. Kane County was acquiring approximately 13 acres from a 150-acre parcel. Kane County offered $0 for the land taken because it was contaminated, and they estimated it would cost over $3,000,000 to remediate the contamination. We were successful in convincing Kane County to assume all liability for contamination, pay $1,155,084 for the contaminated land, and $2,860,275 in additional compensation.

Full Taking – Former Lumberyard

Ryan & Ryan represented the owners of a 5.82 acre vacant parcel that was a former lumber yard for which a final judgment order was entered for $9,625,000. The City of Chicago originally offered $1,600,000 for the property. We completed over 15 depositions of the eleven expert witnesses, and the Court ruled in our favor on all motions in limine before the City agreed to settle on the eve of the trial. The property had been abandoned for approximately seven years before the trial was scheduled to begin. The case involved railroad easements, alleged contaminated soils, a contract to purchase that was terminated, and an analysis of the affordable requirements ordinance of the City of Chicago regarding residential rental properties.

More results we obtained on behalf of our clients can be found here.

Defending the Right of Property Ownership