State of Texas v. Central Expressway Sign Ass'n (Tex. 2009).
No. 08-0061 (Tex. Jun. 26, 2009)(O'Neill) (admissibility of expert testimony, methods of appraising value of
condemned property, here billboard easement)(exclusion of expert witness testimony was harmful error requiring
THE STATE OF TEXAS v. CENTRAL EXPRESSWAY SIGN ASSOCIATES, ET AL.; from Dallas County;
5th district (05-06-00003-CV, 238 SW3d 800, 08-31-07)
The Court reverses the court of appeals' judgment and remands the case to the trial court.
Justice O'Neill delivered the opinion of the Court. [12-page opinion in pdf]
View E-Briefs in THE STATE OF TEXAS v. CENTRAL EXPRESSWAY SIGN ASSOCIATES (Tex. 2009)
The Texas Constitution provides that “[n]o person’s property shall be taken, damaged or
destroyed for or applied to public use without adequate compensation being made, unless by the
consent of such person.” TEX. CONST. art. I, § 17. Adequate compensation does not include profits
generated by a business located on condemned land. Herndon v. Hous. Auth., 261 S.W.2d 221,
222–23 (Tex. Civ. App.—Dallas 1953, writ ref’d). In this case, the State condemned an easement
that was leased to an advertising company for the purpose of erecting a billboard and selling
advertising space. The trial court struck the condemnor’s expert witness as unreliable for failing to
include in his estimate of fair market value the income the billboard generated from advertising sales.
Because the State’s expert applied an accepted methodology for valuing the condemned property,
we conclude the trial court reversibly erred in excluding his testimony.
* * *
We granted the State’s petition for review to consider the reliability of its expert’s
methodology in estimating the fair market value of the condemned property.
* * *
[W]e hold that Wall’s testimony reflected an accepted and reliable method of appraising
the condemned easement and it should not have been excluded. We believe the error was reversible
because Wall’s testimony was directly related to the central issue in the case, the value of the
* * *
Conclusion. We conclude that the trial court abused its discretion in excluding Wall’s testimony. We
reverse the judgment of the court of appeals and remand for a new trial.