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Couple wins eminent domain case against VDOT – $3,133,130 verdict

A Botetourt County jury entered a verdict ordering the Virginia Department of Transportation to pay $3.13 million to a couple whose land was condemned for highway purposes.

VDOT took seven acres of Bland and Betty Painter’s 29-acre property at Exit 150 off Interstate 81, eliminating nearly 90 percent of the Painters’ frontage on Va. Route 11 and replacing it with substitute access along the steep embankment of a loop road. The Painters’ plan to develop the land came to a halt 16 years ago when VDOT first announced its intention to take the land.

The Painters had refused VDOT’s initial offer of $653,771, arguing that the highway project changed the use of the property and thereby diminished the commercial value of the remaining 22 acres.

The just compensation trial in Botetourt County Circuit Court lasted four days.


Type of action: Compensation

Name of case: Commissioner of Highways v. Bland & Betty Painter

Court: Botetourt County Circuit Court

Case no.: CL14000712-00

Tried before: Jury

Name of judge or mediator: Judge Jonathan M. Apgar (Ret.)

Date resolved: September 22, 2016

Verdict or settlement: Verdict

Amount: $3,133,130

Attorneys for plaintiff: Ronald M. Ayers, Brian J. Brydges, Roanoke

Attorneys for defendant: Jeremy P. Hopkins, Joseph T. Waldo, Norfolk

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