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McDonald v. State of New York – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In McDonald v. State of New York, 52 AD2d 721, 381 N.Y.S.2d 929 [4th Dept. 1976], aff'd 42 NY2d 900, 366 N.E.2d 1344, 397 N.Y.S.2d 990 (1977), the property taken was an animal hospital.

Claimant's tenants, veterinarians, moved after the taking to a new premises which they then outfit as an animal hospital, which property was then employed by condemnor's appraiser as one of his comparable properties in his sales analysis.

The Third Department concluded that the proper value of the fixtures taken by condemnor was disclosed by the construction and installation cost of the same fixtures, soon thereafter the taking, in the new animal hospital.

The Court of Appeals affirmed this award; although they questioned the Third Department's analysis generally (to the extent that the latter's use of 10% of the value of the newly-constructed hospital appeared to the former to have been an arbitrary percentage), the Court of Appeals did not dispute that the calculation of the cost of the taken fixtures, based as it was on a recent sale (and installation elsewhere) of the same fixtures, was proper.

They also noted that, in any event, the value arrived-at was within the range of testimony as to value of the fixtures.