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FRONTAGE v. ALLEGHENY COUNTY (06/28/62)

June 28, 1962

FRONTAGE, INC.
v.
ALLEGHENY COUNTY, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 44, March T., 1962, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, July T., 1958, No. 879, in case of Frontage, Inc. v. County of Allegheny. Judgment reversed.

COUNSEL

Francis A. Barry, First Assistant County Solicitor, with him Maurice Louik, County Solicitor, for appellant.

Alexander Unkovic, with him William G. Boyle, and Kountz, Fry & Meyer, for appellee.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen and O'brien, JJ.

Author: Eagen

[ 408 Pa. Page 166]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE EAGEN

This is a land condemnation case wherein the condemnor appeals from the judgment below and seeks a new trial, alleging that certain trial errors resulted in an excessive award of damages for the land taken.

On November 8, 1956, the County of Allegheny condemned the land involved, consisting of 8.859 acres, for the purpose of establishing thereon air navigation and terminal facilities in connection with the Greater Pittsburgh Airport. Viewers were appointed, who awarded damages to the landowner, Frontage, Inc.,*fn1 in the sum of $13,150, from which award both parties appealed to the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. A jury trial resulted in a verdict for Frontage in the amount of $9,523.43. The lower court refused plaintiff's motion for a new trial and, on appeal, we reversed and granted a venire facias de nova: Frontage, Inc. v. Allegheny County, 400 Pa. 249, 162 A.2d 1 (1960).

The issue was tried the second time and the jury awarded Frontage damages in the sum of $65,840.66. From the judgment entered upon the verdict, Allegheny County appeals.

The two experts, who testified at trial on behalf of the landowner, gave their opinions of the fair market value at the time of the taking as $50,000 and $58,000, respectively. The expert, who testified on behalf of

[ 408 Pa. Page 167]

    the county, estimated the fair market value thereof as $7,800.

Raymond G. Cummiskey was president of the corporate-claimant and, by his own admission, held title to 90% of its stock. On February 1, 1954, less than two years before the taking, Cummiskey and his wife deeded the land involved, plus an additional 2.167 acres of land in the same area, to the ...


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