Public Utility v. Wine Producers
Sedgwick obtained a favorable court ruling on behalf of our client, a public utility, in an eminent domain matter heard in California state court. One of the largest bulk wine producers in the United States sought to disrupt the construction of a $200 million power plant and associated gas pipeline by making a belated judicial challenge to the regulatory approval of the project and challenging our client’s right to take by eminent domain an easement for the pipeline on the winery property. After extended hearings in which the court ordered presentation of evidence by live witnesses on direct and cross-examination, Sedgwick showed that no challenge was legally permissible and that the private interest of the property owner could not outweigh the public interest in the infrastructure project. The court issued an order of possession of the easement, allowing our client’s construction of the pipeline to proceed.