Sid-Mar's Restaurant & Lounge Receives Compensation for its Property
Sid-Mar’s Restaurant & Lounge, Inc. and its owners, Sidney Kent Burgess, Jr., and Marion Gemelli Burgess, were long time clients of Stone Pigman when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. After their restaurant property was taken by the State of Louisiana for the 17th Street Canal flood protection work following the storm, without payment of any compensation, Stone Pigman represented these clients in over nine years of litigation, which resulted in compensation and fee judgments rendered in February.
On appeal from those judgments, the State argued (1) that compensation should have been limited to the fair market value of the property (the U.S. Constitution 5th Amendment takings measure) rather than the “full extent of the loss” measure provided by the Louisiana Constitution; (2) that the economic damages (lost profits and lost wages) awarded should be limited to a period of no more than four years, rather than the 10 years awarded by the trial court; (3) that Mr. And Mrs. Burgess were not entitled to awards of mental anguish damages; and (4) that judicial interest on the compensation award should accrue only from the date of judgment (not from the date of taking – a nine-year difference). On December 9, 2015, the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal rejected the State’s arguments and affirmed in all critical respects.