BlueRidgeNow Reported Ecusta Trail Property Owners Demand Payment in Federal Lawsuits

A recent article by BlueRidgeNow reports that nearly 200 landowners along the Ecusta Trail argue they have yet to receive compensation for their land, despite several lawsuits filed in the United States Court of Federal Claims since June 2021. Meredith Shrinivas, a Lewis Rice paralegal, says, "The counties, trail groups and railroad are not parties in these cases. We have 172 clients and 203 claims (individual land parcels) between the Austin, Bridges and Dalla cases." If settlements are not possible, the trial will proceed in June 2024. If successful, the compensation awarded to each landowner could vary, ranging from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the appraisals for each parcel.

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Lewis Rice's federal takings attorneys represent landowners throughout the United States pursuing takings claims against the federal government. One primary focus of the group is representing landowners in what is commonly referred to as rails to trails takings. Attorneys in this group litigate cases in the United States Court of Federal Claims on behalf of those whose property was taken by the federal government pursuant to the National Trails System Act, which authorizes abandoned railroad lines to be converted to public parks. The goal is to obtain compensation from the government for the taking of their land for the public recreational trail.