A local Inglewood veteran’s group won a “David vs. Goliath” victory last month. The battle resulted in the nonprofit Veterans of Foreign Wars winning a $3,357,323 million lawsuit against Metro for compensation to relocate.
The old VFW Post 2122 building, located at 335 E. Florence Avenue, was in the way of the proposed 8.5 mile Crenshaw/LAX light rail line which will run through Inglewood between Crenshaw/Leimert Park and LAX.
The group knew it had to move, but the $650,000 offered by Metro for the building wasn’t nearly enough. The VFW has occupied the building for 80 years, serving over 300 members at the 4,000 square-foot building.
Unable to reach an agreement, Metro filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court. The agency asked that the building be condemned via eminent domain, which would have given it authority to seize the property.
A jury, however, said not so fast. The VFW deserved more money for the property than Metro was willing to offer—about five times more.
According to a spokesman, the group had an appraisal done of the property, which amounted to around $3.8 million. This insured that the VFW replacement property would be built in compliance with parking codes and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Metro’s estimate was a stark contrast, valuing the building at under $1 million.
The trial, which lasted 10 days, is the end of an 18-month legal battle. However, Metro, may appeal the verdict.
For more than a year, the group has held monthly meetings at the VFW in Hawthorne. VFW leadership is still pondering their next move. So far the group is considering rebuilding on the site of a former Elks Lodge in Inglewood.