The state Supreme Judicial Court has rejected a $3 million lawsuit filed by Sorenti Bros. Incorporated claiming the elimination of the Sagamore Bridge rotary has reduced the value of the Sorenti’s abutting commercial property.
On Monday, May 19, the high court remanded the case to Barnstable Superior Court.
The Sorenti family of Sagamore filed its suit in 2006, soon after the rotary was removed as part of the $59 million Sagamore Flyover project, which connected Route 6 directly to the Sagamore Bridge. The family claimed that removal of the rotary, which included relocating Canal Street, limited customer access to their business and lowered the value of their property.
The state paid the Sorentis $1.7 million to cover damages caused by construction of the flyover, but the family did not consider that amount to be adequate. A Barnstable Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the Sorentis’ $3 million suit in 2010, but the state appealed. The Appellate Court, in 2012, upheld the lower court’s ruling, but on Monday the SJC ruled that damages should not have been awarded because access to the Shell station had only been changed, not eliminated. Customers could still access the gas station by way of the relocated Canal Street.
The high court also ruled that the Sorentis’ property had to directly abut or front the former rotary to meet all conditions for damages. The Shell station abutted only Canal Street and Meetinghouse Lane. Therefore, the conditions for damages were not met.
Nelson G. Apjohn, the Sorentis’ attorney, said that he could not comment on the case because it is still in litigation. Mr. Apjohn did say that no date has been set yet for him to be back in court for the case.