Washington Court of Appeals Upholds the Rights of Tenants to Share in Condemnation Awards

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What rights does a tenant have in an eminent domain proceeding? In City of Puyallup v. Hogan, the Washington Court of Appeals recently confirmed the right of a tenant, Borders Group, Inc., (“Borders”) to share in a condemnation award and held that tenants do not have the duty to mitigate damages in condemnation proceedings. The court affirmed the trial court’s judgment that Borders was entitled to apportionment of a condemnation award to its landlord in the amount of $918,129. In addition, the Court of Appeals awarded Borders post-judgment interest and attorneys’ fees on appeal.

In 2007, the City of Puyallup condemned a small portion of Carl Hogan’s shopping center for a road construction project that will significantly reduce access to the shopping center. Borders was the anchor tenant in the shopping center. After the road construction, the main entrance and exit will be reduced to a much narrower entrance — only, and the road will be within a few feet of the Borders store.

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