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Meyers Nave’s Eminent Domain Team Partners With L.A. County Metro to Acquire Property From the Beverly Hills Unified School District for the Westside Purple Line Subway Extension Project

Meyers Nave’s Eminent Domain Team is proud to partner with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“Metro”) on its property acquisition needs to extend the Westside Purple Line Subway Extension Project from Downtown Los Angeles to Westwood/UCLA. We recently concluded trials relating to subsurface subway tunnel easements located beneath the Beverly Hills High School and Beverly Hills Unified School District Administration Building.

David Skinner, lead counsel from Meyers Nave’s Eminent Domain Team, explains, “Certainly, trials should be a last resort in eminent domain proceedings. Public entities should always try to resolve their property acquisition needs with landowners by settlement. This is particularly true where the landowner is another public entity.” But, here, there were two separate trials to resolve BHUSD’s legal claims. The first was a “bench trial” in December 2019 to confirm Metro’s legal right to acquire the subsurface subway tunnel easements (as a “compatible” and/or “more necessary” public use) by eminent domain. The second was a “jury trial” in July 2022 to resolve BHUSD’s claims for “just compensation,” including the fair market value of the subsurface easements and severance damages to the remainder property. Ultimately, while BHUSD asked the jury to award (for both cases) a total of $53,814,000, the jury verdict was $1,046,000.

These trial results support Metro’s efforts to reduce traffic, congestion and carbon emissions from automobile use, and to make affordable public transportation options available to all in Los Angeles.

In addition to David Skinner, the Meyers Nave team also included associate Kristof Szoke.