I just completed a 2 week trial in Burlington County, New Jersey in which the jury awarded my client – the property owner – $1,607,000. The case involved a “partial taking” by the New Jersey Dept. of Transportation of a portion of the frontage of a shopping center in Marlton, NJ. The NJDOT’s last offer was $194,000.

The biggest issue in the case was the extent to which the property owner was permitted to seek damages caused by a closed driveway. New Jersey, like many states, limits a property owner’s ability to obtain damages for a change in access. Generally, New Jersey property owners are not permitted to seek such damages as long as the remaining access is reasonable. However, there are exceptions including if the change in access caused “on site impact” such as vehicular maneuverability issues.

This is an issue that is likely to receive a great deal of attention given the spike in roadway projects.