Court Rules in Favor of Kasowitz Clients Steel Los and Brook Corporation, Sets Aside Condemnation at Bethpage Power Plant
New York Supreme Court Justice Thomas P. Phelan ruled that the New York Power Authority exceeded its eminent domain power in condemning the Long Island property of Kasowitz clients Steel Los and Brook Corporation. Power plant operator Calpine Corporation had signed a 35-year lease with Steel Los and Brook for a parcel of property on which a power plant was then built. In 2005, the New York Power Authority undertook to acquire title to the land, relying upon their powers of eminent domain. Kasowitz brought an Article 78 proceeding against the state, alleging an unlawful taking, and a separate lawsuit against Calpine. After two years of discovery and hearings, Justice Phelan set aside the condemnation, ruling that the New York Power Authority's action was not for a public purpose, but rather only conferred a private financial benefit upon Calpine Corporation by eliminating its lease payments. Kasowitz partners David Ross and Trevor Welch are representing Steel Los and Brook Corporation.