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MOTT v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/16/65)

decided: March 16, 1965.

MOTT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County, March T., 1963, No. 124, in case of John Mott v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Highways.

COUNSEL

Edward D. Werblun, Assistant Attorney General, with him Michael R. Deckman, Assistant Attorney General, John R. Rezzolla, Jr., Chief Counsel, and Walter E. Alessandroni, Attorney General, for Commonwealth, appellant.

John Alan Conte, with him Conte & Courtney, for appellee.

Bell, C. J., Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice O'Brien. Mr. Chief Justice Bell concurs in the result.

Author: O'brien

[ 417 Pa. Page 427]

On June 22, 1960, the Commonwealth, in the exercise of its power of eminent domain, condemned certain land belonging to the plaintiff-appellee.

Appellee's property is between a State Highway and a creek, and contained an area of 1.27 acres before taking. The property has a frontage of approximately 200 feet on the highway, and had a depth of 105 feet. The Commonwealth took 23 feet in depth along the 200 foot frontage to widen the highway, thus reducing the usable depth to 82 feet. In addition to the area on the highway taken, an additional area of 980 square feet was taken for a 36-inch storm sewer right-of-way, which was 10 feet in width and 98 feet in length.

Appellee testified as to values and also called a consulting engineer. The consulting engineer testified as to certain things that he considered necessary for the rehabilitation of the property, and also estimated the cost of doing this work.

The plaintiff, in addition to his own testimony as to the value of the property before and after the condemnation, also called a real estate expert, who testified that he took into consideration the factor of the rehabilitation costs estimated to be necessary to restore the property for the maximum use, in arriving at his estimate of the damages incurred by the plaintiff.

The appellee, the property owner, testified that the property had a fair market value of $75,000 before the

[ 417 Pa. Page 428]

    condemnation, and that after the condemnation, the market value was $25,000, leaving a damage of $50,000. The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff in the total amount of $27,500, and denied detention damages.

The Commonwealth, appellant, raises two questions: (1) Did the lower court err in admitting the testimony of a witness as to estimated costs of specific items of damage? (2) Did the lower court err in entering judgment n.o.v. for detention money when the property ...


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