Facts: A business owner operated their business on a parcel of land. The business had yet to become profitable. The state condemned the property through eminent domain and compensated the owner for the taking in an amount which did not include compensation for any loss of business goodwill. The owner hired an expert to determine the amount of business goodwill lost due to the taking, who determined the owner lost a quantifiable amount of business goodwill.
Claim: The state sought to prevent the business from obtaining compensation for the loss of business goodwill, claiming the owner did not have any business goodwill to quantify since it had yet to profit and thus had no business goodwill to lose.
Counterclaim: The owner sought compensation for loss of business goodwill, claiming they had business goodwill despite never being profitable since its expert determined there was a quantifiable amount of lost goodwill.
Holding: A California Court of Appeals held the owner is not entitled to compensation for the business goodwill due to the taking since, despite the conclusion of the expert, the business did not have any business goodwill to lose as it had yet to profit. [Dept. of Transportation v. Dry Canyon Enterprises, LLC (2012) 211 CA4th 486]