Three and a half million dollars. That is the amount of Domina Law Group pc llo's latest multimillion dollar verdict. A New Mexico jury returned it for $3.57 million. The verdict followed two weeks of trial ending in late October.
Dave Domina and Felicia C. Weingartner presented the complex
property owner rights case for Horne-Stewart.
The jury's verdict ended a lawsuit filed in 2005, arising from a 1997 Road Agreement entered into by the Horne-Stewart Company with the City of Albuquerque, County of Bernalillo, State of New Mexico, and University of New Mexico for extension of a major municipal thoroughfare.
Horne Stewart contended the City and County "breached" the contract by refusing to build the principal arterial street according to requirements. Horne-Stewart's 540 acre parcel of land was dissected, inaccessible, and not suitable for reasonable commercial use. This is true despite the land's location adjacent to Interstate 25, the municipal airport, and rail service.
Evidence proved the City and County wanted to favor a nearby development which was heavily promoted by the previous mayor, and the State's previous governor. The nearby property was owned by a major US developer. Domina and Weingartner's client refused to "pay to play"; it would not engage in political contributions so often associated with land development.
"Our evidence established that the City and County are committed to spending hundreds of millions on Mesa Del Sol, yet our clients, the owners of a much smaller tract, donated 22 acres of for a roadway across the property that would provide reasonable access to and from it."
Domina continued, "from the witness stand, a former senior appointed city official admitted that "hundreds of millions of public dollars will be spent on" the nearby development "that benefited from the roadway"
To prevail in the case, Domina and Weingartner had to prove that the City and County intentionally, willfully ignored the contract and built the road so it would provide no benefit to Horne Stewart. The jury unanimously found that a willful breach of contract was committed by Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.
"Proving an intentional misconduct case against a City and County is hard work", Domina said. We are grateful for an attentive jury devoted to following complicated evidence."
To read the press release about this verdict, click here.