Court Awards Couple $18,000,000 For City’s Land Grab. Largest In State History

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor.

City of SeaTac LogoIn a significant judgment against the City of SeaTac, Washington in a property rights case a King County Superior Court judge awarded Gerry and Kathy Kingen $18.3 million after what the court described as “a pattern of deception that lasted years.”

The trouble for the couple began in 2003 when they purchased land in the vicinity of Sea-Tac Airport with the intent to develop the land into a Park-and-Fly garage. Immediately after bringing notice to the city of their plans the city council declared a moratorium on the construction of these garages and engaged in tactics to hinder the couple’s investment until, according to court documents, they were forced under duress to sell the property to a “phantom buyer” who was later determined to be a surrogate for the city.


After learning of the surrogate buyer, the Kingens decided to pursue legal action against the city.

The couple and their development company filed a lawsuit in 2012. After a three-week trial the jury awarded the pair $9.6 million in damages. The judge added to the award by increasing the damages to include attorney fees and interest, bringing the total to $18.3 million.

The Kingens stated the ordeal was very costly in terms not only financial in nature but personal.

They robbed us of our lives, literally it became all-consuming for a long period of time.”

To add to the city’s troubles the Court concluded that the City also violated the Public Records Act which attracted the attention of the Washington Coalition for Open Government, an NGO that has sued government agencies for such violations. Coalition President Toby Nixon stated: “They tried to sneak around in the shadows and tried to take the property in an inappropriate way. You have to do it in the right way, you have to do it openly and [in an] accountable way that builds trust, that holds public trust and not abuse the trust.”

Of course, the City appealed the judgment. But there are many other forms of justice that likely will rain down. The City’s insurance carrier fled paperwork with the court countering that it is not mandated to indemnify the City since the court found that there was deception involved on the part of city officials.

Surely the matter will continue for years to come given the past behavior by the City. But it is a victory for property rights nonetheless.

By Darren Smith



The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

55 thoughts on “Court Awards Couple $18,000,000 For City’s Land Grab. Largest In State History”

  1. @nick

    MSNBC is a Hilbot entity – Rachel Maddow, a highly intelligent woman, has gone to the Dark Side, as well as Sleepy (Todd) and that other jerk Jake Tapper. Waste of time to view unless you are doing some sort of research on the pathology of establishment power being upheld by the press.

    If you want to know where Progressives are check out Lee Camp,Jimmy Dore, Tim Black and Will and Mike of LTMB.

    1. Autumn – Maddow has been on the dark side for a long time now. No one listens to her programs so no one remembers that from the last election.

  2. @Olly

    re: “randyjet exposes the mind-warping effects of progressivism. Democrat’s abuse of power must be justified..;somehow. Republican’s abuse of power must be condemned…somehow. Well done!”

    Randyjet is a partisan liberal NOT a progressive. We progressives have our eyes wide open and call out abuses of power no matter who is doing it. We progressives do NOT support the depraved actions practiced by the Demoncrats last week at the Convention. We are Bernieorbusters now all about Jill Not Hill. Further, we dislike Trump but fear HRC. she is the greater evil.

  3. Dishonesty and mismanagement in it’s purest form !!

    From: JONATHAN TURLEY To: Sent: Friday, July 29, 2016 9:03 PM Subject: [New post] Court Awards Couple $18,000,000 For City’s Land Grab. Largest In State History #yiv5782431785 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv5782431785 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv5782431785 a.yiv5782431785primaryactionlink:link, #yiv5782431785 a.yiv5782431785primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv5782431785 a.yiv5782431785primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv5782431785 a.yiv5782431785primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv5782431785 | Darren Smith posted: “By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor.In a significant judgment against the City of SeaTac, Washington in a property rights case a King County Superior Court judge awarded Gerry and Kathy Kingen $18.3 million after what the court described as “a patter” | |

  4. Squeek, I actually voted for Obama in 2008. We all make mistakes. Successful people learn from those mistakes. You caught yourself before wasting your vote.

  5. Squeek, The boilerplate form fits them perfectly. I have satellite radio which has all the news channels. I will flip around listening to music and news. I had MSNBC on. I think it is my duty to listen to all perspectives. They had a call-in poll on who the viewers think will win the election. The poll was still ongoing but at that point they had 93% voting for Hillary. That’s the only data they gave.

    You know Squeek, I know all politicians are lying sacks o’ feces. But, watching Bubba, Obama, and others praise and hug Hillary, knowing they all hate her, and vice versa, I had a little puke come up in my mouth. Bubba falling asleep during the biggest speech of her life says it all.

  6. Chinggis great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grandfather know how to do eminent domain. If someone not do what he want, they get killed and lose yaks and land. City of SeaTac lucky that Chinggis’ ancestor not around today. Otherwise city lose all of its yaks.

  7. @NickS

    I agree. I think I will add that to my Proforma Liberal Response form! Oh, and plus, “Dudley” is a Canadian name (Like Dudley Do-Right, the Mountie) sooo there was that connection, too!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Squeeky – don’t forget that Dudley Doright’s conservative horse was far smarter than Dudley.

  8. Squeeky, LOL! We can sum up everything the Canadian and flyboy say into a short phrase, “Republicans are mean, corrupt and lazy. Dems are nice, honest and hard working.” So, if anyone is new here, and they haven’t come to know these 2 characters, save yourself time reading their vapid comments and remember the synopsis I just gave. You’re welcome.

  9. @IsaacB

    Well, what I am going to say next may get me banned off this website – but I am going to DOX you!!! (FWIW, “doxing” is searching for and publishing private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent.) But it’s worth it!

    SOOO, everybody here, IsaacB’s REAL name is Dudley Manlove III. I discovered this by watching this video in which his grandfather played “Eros”, an alien. Watch all 39 seconds, and notice the smug arrogance! Then, at 30 seconds in, you will discover the icing on the cake!

    Yep! There has got to be a family connection! I am trying to get a picture of Dudley Manlove III, and his address, but all I can find out about his grandfather is this:

    And the records may have been scrubbed by the HRC state Department to hide IsaacB’s real identity! But I am not stopping! In the meantime, can you prove there is NOT a family connection???

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  10. Elected and appointed government officials (regardless of political party) and businesses/corporations would be well advised to seriously consider scaling-back their abuse of eminent domain. The Citizenry is not going to tolerate this situation for much longer, as one commenter writes:

    “The people are coming out now with torches – they holding back the pitch-forks, guillotines and gallows … for now!”
    – ‘Shinmen Takezo’, 03042016,

  11. Lisa

    You must be one of those Trump supporters. You know the ones who can’t think past the one line headline. This is not about the city doing the ‘smart’ business thing and trying to spend as little of the taxpayer’s money as possible to purchase land for whatever public interest reason, by sending in a straw man. There is nothing wrong with that. This is about the city using its ‘public interest’ powers to impede someone’s rights to develop a property and using the city’s ability to ‘paper’ and wait out citizens until they capitulate. This goes on all the time and since you brought in politics you seem to have exposed yourself as one of those voters who can’t seem to get past the bumper sticker. Democrats and Republicans alike abuse power.

    The city, upon understanding that a private firm was applying to develop a parking facility near the airport, impeded the developer to the extent that the property was put up for sale. Then the city used a straw man to purchase the property for what would have to be the same purposes. A parking facility would be an income stream for the city. If this was done between private business parties and if it included abuse of permitting by the city it would still be crooked. That the city did it is an abuse of public trust. There are many other ways for the city to participate in the private sector of land acquisition and development. Avoiding public awareness of the city’s intentions is good business acumen. When SeaTac did was abuse. This aspect was criminal and if it could be connected to someone that someone should be dealt with as a criminal. That would place an equal pressure on government departments to stop them from this sort of double dealing.

  12. Lisa, Sorry, but I did not defend the government in Seatac. My observation was that conservatives in Texas are FAR worse in their dealings with citizens who are not wealthy. These folks are NOT little people like the farmers in Texas who get their land stolen from them. As we can ALL see, you and your kind defend the wealthy when they are unfairly treated by government, and can care less about the common folks. These folks only lost the ability to gouge more money from the city. They did not lose their homes, business, and personal property. I have no problem denouncing the city for its tactics and while I think the award is excessive for legal fees, the jury got it right. The judge got it wrong.

  13. When Dinsey was buying up land in FL to build DisneyWorld, they used phony or front companies to disguise who was the actual buyer. They did that because they knew that if it was discovered that it was Disney, the prices would skyrocket. Now the legal question. Was that fraud? Was that illegal? I think that in FL and in most states it is not. Did that not deny those landowners their FAIR MARKET value for their land? I think that the last question has to be answered in the affirmative. So what Seatac did was similar to the tactic Disney and most developers use in buying that land.

    Had those owners known that it was the city which was buying the land, they would have demanded a FAR higher price than what they got. So the essence of the suit is that they are complaining because they lost the opportunity to get more money out of the city. They did have a good case because since the city has the power to zone and excersize emminent domain and zoning, it is an unequal marketplace. They would NOT have had a complaint had the city been open about its purchase. Then they would have demanded more money for the property. From what I understand from the article, the city violated the open records laws by its maneuver, thus providing more damages.

    Only public bodies are prohibited from using their power in an unequal situation with citizens. As Trump has shown in many of his dealings, even SIGNED CONTRACTS with his companies are worthless if he chooses not to pay. Since he has FAR greater resources than his contractors, all he has done is say, sue me. They have little or no recourse since he can force them to pay more in legal fees than they can afford. Or as he did in his Atlantic City casino, he opens, refuses to pay, then declares bankruptcy, and they get little or nothing. Such an honest guy! He would never lie, cheat or steal from the little people!

    1. randyjet – it is not uncommon for developers to use fronts to buy land for them for a big project, to keep the prices down. However, the government is SUPPOSED to pay fair market value for the best use for the land. They are not supposed to use fronts.

  14. Typical and predictable response from a liberal who refuses to accept facts.
    He defends the liberal government at Seatac but in the same breath excoriates the conservative govt in Texas.

    He can’t have it both ways. Typical so typical. lmao 😂😂😂

    Darren’s facts are spot on.

  15. It seems that somewhere along the line a ‘warm body’ made some decisions, perhaps more than one. It appears that these decisions could be construed as criminal. Why are there not indictments, charges laid, people going to jail? This goes on primarily because those committing these crimes know that they have some sort of cover of obscurity; no one seems to take it past the ‘city’ and to the ‘person’ committing these crimes. Until lots of people start going to jail this will continue. When people start going to jail it will stop and the governments we elect to take care of our interests will indeed take care of our interests. This goes for Wall Street and all the areas where somehow a wrist slap and a lawsuit seems to be the cost of committing crimes.

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