Local couple wins $500K in suit over land lost to I-35 expansion

(Photo by Madison Adams/file)
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TROY, Texas (KWTX) A Bell County jury has awarded a Troy couple more than $500,000 in a lawsuit over insufficient amount paid for property they lost to eminent domain for construction of Interstate 35 expansion project.

In a news release issued Tuesday by the Marrs Ellis & Hodge law firm, attorney Justin Hodge, who represented landowners W.H. and Sandra Anderson, said the suit was filed “because the State of Texas didn’t pay them enough when it took their parcel of land to widen Interstate 35.”

The state, in 2012, offered the Andersons $65,000 for the 9,500-square-foot parcel, but the jury’s decision ordered the state to pay more than five times that amount.

The Marrs Ellis and Hodge firm specializes in condemnation and eminent domain issues.

Part of the suit involved the destruction and re-building of a driveway into the Anderson’s property that, because of its design, which created “unforeseen and unwarranted safety issues for (the) property owners,” Hodge said.

Hodge said Tuesday this case is only the second one, of hundreds filed, to go to court over the eminent domain issue since 2009.

The project was designed to widen the Interstate 35 corridor and it required condemnation of hundreds of properties along the roadway, Hodge said.