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EARL M. KERSTETTER v. COMMONWEALTH (05/25/61)

May 25, 1961

EARL M. KERSTETTER, INC.
v.
COMMONWEALTH, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 202, Jan. T., 1961, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Feb. T., 1959, No. 409, in case of Earl M. Kerstetter, Inc. v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Judgment reversed; reargument refused June 23, 1961.

COUNSEL

David E. Abrahamsen, Deputy Attorney General, with him Anne X. Alpern, Attorney General, for Commonwealth, appellant.

C. Edmund Wells, with him Wells, Campbell & Reynier, for appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Bok and Eagen, JJ.

Author: Bok

[ 404 Pa. Page 169]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BOK

This is the Commonwealth's appeal from what it considers an excessive judgment for compensation in an eminent domain case.

The facts are that appellee signed an agreement of sale for 9 3/4 acres of land in the Borough of Pottstown on February 3, 1956, and at settlement held on April 24, 1956, received a deed for it. On August 30, 1956, the Commonwealth condemned 3.2 acres, isolating and rendering useless.84 acre and leaving appellee 5.7 acres. The reason for condemnation was the extension

[ 404 Pa. Page 170]

    of Route 100. On August 31, 1956, appellee's revised plot plan, showing a subdivision into lots, was approved by the borough and recorded and the construction of houses was begun; the original plan, prepared in June from field-work done in May, was neither approved nor recorded because appellee had heard that Route 100 was to be extended and after inquiry from the district engineer for the Commonwealth in June or July the extension seemed imminent enough to warrant a final revision of the plan.

Appellee bought the 9 3/4 acres for $15,000. He and his experts testified to the value immediately before and after condemnation as follows: Kerstetter, sole owner of the stock of appellee corporation; before, $128,000, after $62,300, difference, $65,700; Bowen, before, $134,000, after, $67,700, difference, $66,300; O'Dell, before, $107,640, after, $53,929, difference, $53,711; Thompson, before, $92,653.50, after, $39,415, difference, $53,238.50.

The Commonwealth's experts testified to value as follows: DeLong, before, $20,000, after, $7,000, difference, $13,000; Plank, the same.

The board of view awarded $35,000, and on appeal to the common pleas court the jury gave $30,500. The ...


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