Kentucky Supreme Court decides damages in precedent setting trespass case
We represented clients who were landowners adjacent to an underground limestone quarry. The quarry operation trespassed on the clients’ property and removed over 100,000 tons of limestone. The Kentucky Supreme Court clarified the proper measure of damages for trespass and removal of limestone. The proper measure of damages in all innocent trespass cases is the value of the mineral after extraction, less the reasonable expenses incurred by the trespasser in extracting the mineral. The proper measure of damages where the trespass has been determined to be willful is the reasonable market value of the mineral at the mouth of the mine, without an allowance of the expense of removal. There is no basis to recover separately for punitive damages.