New Jersey Supreme Court overturns blocked ocean view award

07/08/2013 // West Palm Beach , Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

New Jersey – The New Jersey Supreme Court overturned a jury award granted to a couple who filed a lawsuit over a protective sand dune near their home that purportedly blocked their ocean views. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), the court overturned the $375,000 award citing jurors in a lower court were not given the opportunity to consider the benefits of the dune in calculation of how it impacted property value.

The sand dune reportedly helped prevent destruction to the couple’s home by Superstorm Sandy in October.

The court is quoted as writing in its opinion, “Although the jury found that the Karans’ property decreased in value because the dune obstructed their view, a buyer would likely also consider the value provided by the dune in shielding the property from destruction… The court did not allow the jury to consider evidence that the dunes — constructed at public expense to protect the island’s homes from minor and catastrophic storms— enhanced the value of the Karans’ property.”

Harvey Cedars Mayor Jonathan Oldham is further quoted by the AP as stating of the potential impact of the case on efforts of officials seeking to build more extensive protective sand dune systems along the New Jersey coastline, “Had we lost this case, I think beach replenishment would have been (over) in New Jersey… We’re very pleased with the court’s ruling and look forward to competing with a fair set of rules. I’m happy for the whole island.”

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