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NC Supreme Court Issues Opinion on Northern Beltway Eminent Domain Class Action Case

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On April 11, 2014, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued its opinion in the case of Beroth Oil Company, et al. v. North Carolina Department of Transportation.  The Court granted discretionary review of the Court of Appeal‘s unanimous decision to deny class certification to the plaintiffs, who are landowners in the path of the Northern Beltway in Winston Salem.  In a 5 to 2 ruling, the Court held that the trial court and Court of Appeal’s analysis of the merits of the underlying inverse condemnation claim was improper, but also affirmed the lower courts‘ decisions not to certify the plaintiffs as a class, finding that “because of unique nature of property, coupled with the large number of diverse tracts involved in this litigation, individual issues would predominate over common issues of law and fact in a trial on the merits.”

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