WASHINGTON, DC – June 8, 2015, — The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed an award of $4.2 million plus interest and attorneys’ fees by the Court of Federal Claims in favor of Lost Tree Village Corporation, a client of international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Based on the decision, it is estimated that Lost Tree will receive about $10 million, including interest and attorneys’ fees.
In Lost Tree Village Corp. v. United States, the Federal Circuit held that the government’s denial of Lost Tree Village Corporation’s application for a permit to fill wetlands on a 4.99 acre plat (“Plat 57”) constituted a per se regulatory taking under Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal, 505 U.S. 1003 (1992). The Court affirmed that a Lucas taking occurred because the government’s permit denial eliminated all value stemming from Plat 57’s possible economic uses. This is the second appeal of this case to the Federal Circuit. In the first appeal, the Federal Circuit addressed another important issue in takings law, and held that Plat 57 alone was the relevant parcel for the purposes of the takings analysis.
The case has been widely followed by property rights advocates and on blogs that follow takings cases and issues. In both appeals to the Federal Circuit, Lost Tree had amicus curiae support from the Pacific Legal Foundation and The National Association of Home Builders.