West Texas Eminent Domain Lawyers
Protecting the Properties of Residents in Abilene and Midland, TX
When the government or a private entity takes your property, you have the right to be compensated for the loss. However, the government and private entities often try to pay as little as possible for the property they take. An experienced eminent domain lawyer can help you get the full value of your property.
At Potts Law Firm, our West Texas eminent domain lawyers have the experience and resources to take on the government and private entities. We have a proven track record of success in these cases, and we are ready to fight for you.
What is Eminent Domain?
Eminent domain is the power of the government to take private property for public use. The government can take your property even if you do not want to sell it. However, the government must pay you the fair market value of the property.
Private entities can also take your property through a process called condemnation. These entities must also pay you the fair market value of the property.
Examples of when the government or a private entity may take your property include:
- Building a road
- Building a school
- Building a park
- Building a power line
- Building a pipeline
- Building a shopping center
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In Texas, eminent domain follows a specific process governed by state laws. Here's an overview:
- Initiation of Eminent Domain: The process starts when a government entity or a private entity granted eminent domain authority (like a pipeline or utility company) decides they need a property for public use. They must provide a written offer to the property owner expressing their intent to acquire the property.
- Negotiation and Offer: The entity looking to acquire the property engages in negotiations with the property owner regarding the terms of the acquisition, including the purchase price. They present an initial offer, which the property owner can either accept or negotiate further.
- Appraisal of Property: Both parties might hire appraisers to determine the fair market value of the property. This valuation helps in reaching a fair compensation amount.
- Review of Offer: If the property owner accepts the offer, the process moves toward finalizing the sale. However, if they reject the offer or negotiations reach an impasse, the entity seeking the property can proceed to condemn the property through a legal process.
- Condemnation Proceedings: If negotiations fail, the entity seeking the property files a condemnation lawsuit. This initiates a legal process where the court determines whether the taking of the property is for a legitimate public purpose and if the compensation offered is just and adequate.
- Court Proceedings and Compensation: The court holds hearings to determine the fair market value of the property and decides on the compensation amount. The property owner has the right to challenge the taking and the offered compensation in court.
- Possession and Payment: Once the court determines the compensation amount, the entity can take possession of the property. Simultaneously, the property owner receives the compensation, which should be just and fair according to the court's ruling.
Throughout this process, property owners in Texas have legal rights and opportunities to challenge the taking and ensure fair compensation. It's essential for property owners to understand their rights, possibly seek legal counsel, and actively participate in negotiations or legal proceedings to protect their interests.
Transvaginal Mesh Settlements Over $1 Billion
The Potts Law Firm and its joint venture partners have been successful in resolving over $1 billion in transvaginal mesh settlements. Derek H. Potts was one of a handful of plaintiffs’ lawyers from around the country who spearheaded the establishment of what would become the largest medical device MDL consolidations in history.
Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch $184 Million
Derek H. Potts was a member of the Kugel Mesh MDL Plaintiffs Steering Committee which was instrumental in obtaining a $184,000,000 global settlement for several thousand persons who had received the Kugel Mesh hernia patch.
ERISA Class Action Settlement $36 Million
Potts Law Firm served as class counsel in the ERISA class action, Diebold, et al. v. Northern Trust Investments, N.A. et al., 09-Civ-1934 (Diebold), in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois where the Court approved a collective settlement of $36 million dollars for class representatives resulting in millions of dollars returned to investors.
Paraplegic Minor $12 Million
Derek H. Potts and Timothy L. Sifers obtained a $12,100,000 verdict against Lisa Gard, M.D. for medical malpractice involving a minor. The jury found the Salina emergency room doctor to be negligent in her assessment of the minor upon presentation in the emergency room, failing to timely diagnose a rare spinal condition. The case was one of the largest verdicts in history in the State of Kansas.
Fraud Against Lender $10.7 Million
Potts Law Firm represented a United States Bankruptcy Trustee. The case stemmed from the massive bankruptcy of Royce Homes, one of the largest homebuilders in the country. Micah and Chris represented the bankruptcy Trustee against a multitude of defendants, including the chief Lender, for claims related to the homebuilder’s downfall and the fraudulent transfer of assets from the rightful owners, the creditors.
Birth Injury $4.6 Million
Derek H. Potts and Samuel Cullan were members of the plaintiff's trial team which obtained a $4,600,000 verdict for a minor delivered at Bethany Medical Center. Ariana Wilburn, the minor, suffered a spinal cord presentation after being born in the breech position.
Hypoxic-Ischemic Birth Injury $3.5 Million
Potts Law Firm secured a $3,500,000 settlement for a single mother whose infant suffered severe brain damage while being delivered in a New Mexico hospital. The mother, having no previous pregnancy or medical issues, began laboring and immediately went to a hospital. Despite the clear signs of fetal distress and hypoxia (lack of oxygen), the doctor and nurse did not order an emergency cesarean section.
Fraudulent Transfers $2.42 Million
Potts Law Firm represented a Bankruptcy Trustee, resulting in a combined $2.42 million being recovered for creditors of ATP Oil & Gas Company. The claims related to fraudulent transfers of overriding royalty interests in oil & gas properties made by ATP in a failed attempt to liquidate the assets of the company.
Catastrophic Injuries $3.5 Million
Derek H. Potts was co-lead counsel with Thomas Cartmell in representing John Novogradac of Kansas City whose health was neglected during his stay at two nursing home facilities. Mr. Novogradac developed bedsores on his body and had above-knee amputations on both legs after his wounds became severely infected with gangrenous and dead tissue.
Pharmaceutical Birth Defect $1.05 Million
Potts Law Firm secured a $1,050,000 settlement for a mother whose infant suffered birth defects from a pharmaceutical drug that was taken during pregnancy. Though the migraine drug manufacturer knew the medication could cause a fetus to develop a cleft lip and/or cleft palate when consumed by the mother during the early stages of pregnancy, they failed to warn consumers about these dangers.