Land Deal Lawsuit In NM To Cost Taxpayers $3.57M

Oct 19, 2013

A jury has found that Bernalillo County and the city of Albuquerque willfully breached a land deal contract signed in 1997.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Friday's verdict will cost taxpayers $3.57 million.

The contract involved obtaining land for an extension of University Boulevard.

The county was the original signer of the contract with Horne Stewart LLC, a family-owned business that has owned 540 acres in the area since the 1950s. The project was then assigned to the city in 2004.

The lawsuit was filed originally as a condemnation action, but Horne Stewart counter-sued for breach of contract.

The jury awarded $227,000 to Horne Stewart for the condemnation of land and $3.3 million for damages from breach of contract.

Albuquerque's claims review board will make recommendations on an appeal.

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