Case a victory for homeowners
Carl Gamble Jr., who won a three-year legal battle to save his home from demolition in the landmark Norwood eminent domain case, died Friday at St. Elizabeth Medical Center South in Edgewood after a bout with cancer and heart and lung problems.
Mr. Gamble, 70, and his wife, Joy, were forced to leave their house of 35 years in February 2005 after a Hamilton County judge upheld Norwood's right to use eminent domain to take their home.
The Gambles, who operated a small grocery story in Walnut Hills for many years, were the last property owners in that 11-acre site at Edwards and Edmondson roads to leave. A developer planned to build the $125 million Rookwood Exchange there.
But the Gambles and two other property owners took the fight to the Ohio Supreme Court and won. Property-rights advocates throughout the country hailed the court decision as a victory in the battle against eminent domain for economic development.
But Mr. Gamble's health problems forced the Gambles to give up their dream of returning to their home. The Gambles, who had moved to an apartment in Edgewood, sold the house to the Rookwood Partners for $650,000 two weeks ago.
"He was really a courageous man who stood up for the rights of every homeowner and small-business owner in Ohio and throughout the country," said Bert Gall, an attorney for the Institute for Justice, a Washington-based civil liberties law firm that represented the Gambles and the other holdouts for free in the eminent domain dispute.
"Carl was a rock throughout the entire fight," Gall said. "He never lost sight that he wasn't just fighting for his home, but for everyone else who has been affected by eminent domain abuse."
Mr. Gamble had been hospitalized for the past few months.
Joe Horney, another one of the Norwood holdout property owners who became a good friend of the Gambles during the eminent domain battle, said Mr. Gamble fought cancer with the same quiet determination he fought the eminent domain case.
"He was a great guy and a great friend," Horney said.
Cincinnati OH Enquirer: http://news.enquirer.com