Property Rights

Jarreau v. South LaFourche Levee District

Just compensation includes business losses in appropriate circumstances

A Louisiana levee district condemned land containing an ongoing soil excavation business so it could use the soil for a levee. But the district shortchanged the landowner of his just compensation by paying only for the land, and not its value as a soil excavation and hauling business. Worse, the district demanded that the owner pay the district for soil that the owner had excavated before the taking. The Louisiana Supreme Court agreed that there are circumstances where business losses would be compensable, but declined to award any business losses to Jarreau. Jarreau petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.

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