The Ninth District Court of Appeals of Ohio (Summit County) recently affirmed a jury verdict in favor of local landowners on their nuisance and takings claims against the Ohio Turnpike Commission.
In 1984 the Amores purchased a piece of property in Peninsula, Ohio. Thirteen years later, in 1997, the Ohio Turnpike Commission began a maintenance and construction project that involved a portion of the turnpike adjacent to the Amores’ property. The construction increased the number of travel lanes eastbound and westbound. The construction removed a number of trees that previously stood between the Amores’ home and the turnpike, and it also brought the lanes of travel 65 feet closer to the Amores’ home. As a result of the project, there was an increase in traffic noise from the turnpike. The Amores complained that they lost the enjoyment and use of their home.
It is important to note that all construction on the Ohio Turnpike was within the right of way of the commission.
The Amores filed a complaint in January of 2007 claiming a taking and nuisance. A jury trial was held two years later in June of 2009. Following trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Amores for $115,000. The Ohio Turnpike Commission appealed the decision, however, the court of appeals affirmed the jury’s finding and trial court’s final judgment entry.