Coast family wins $644K in tideland lawsuit against state

gavel judge moneyBAY ST. LOUIS — A family that owned a beachfront restaurant in Bay St. Louis before Hurricane Katrina has won $644,000 against the state in a lawsuit, with jurors ruling land the state took to build a new small craft harbor was not state tideland but private property.

Paul Scott, a lawyer for the Murphy family, said the verdict came Monday after a week-long trial.

Scott says testimony showed the Murphy family, which operated Dan B’s restaurant, had deeds showing their property extended beyond a decades-old sea wall to the water’s edge. The state’s position was that everything from the seawall to St. Louis Bay was public property.

A spokeswoman for the Secretary of State’s Office, which administers state tidelands, is declining comment.

Scott says he represents two other property owners who are suing.

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