Today continued the direct testimony of William Brown, president and CEO of Wright Pierce. He took the jury through the whole 8 year history of the project – except for he part where they presented a remediation plan to NHDES last year. Can’t talk about that.
Direct examination of your own witness is pretty much just show and tell. Probably due to his position and vast experience, the court allowed him to offer some quasi-expert opinions to the objection of Wolfeboro.
At one point he went through the recently displayed blow-up photos of the site that were shown by Wolfeboro’s experts. Wolfeboro objected – something about they weren’t actual exhibits. After one of many sidebars, the court allowed that the photos that Mr. Brown could identify and locate on the map were admissible as evidence. Using the photos, he painted a different picture of the site damage. In one particular photo, he pointed out some fallen trees that the Wolfeboro expert had told the jury were fallen as a result of the damage. Mr. Brown said they were left by the loggers who logged the site just prior to the town buying it. I wonder if there is any proof one way or the other.
In talking about fixing the site, Mr. Brown opined that repairing and “armoring” the slopes was “easy”. He also went through the water quality reports from 2010 and 2011 and explained how the recharge water quality was much better than originally predicted, and compliant with the permit. He said that was why the permit was renewed in 2012.
At the end, he was asked directly if he thought the site could be fixed. His reply of “absolutely” opens up two questions:
First, he didn’t speak at all to the second remediation requirement documented by Mr. Heirtzler of NHDES. That requirement, reintroducing the breakout water into the ground, is left hanging and begging to be asked on cross-examination. It’s pretty clear that WP has some ideas about that and perhaps this is how they intend to introduce them. In order to challenge him, Wolfeboro has to ask how he intends to satisfy that requirement. They’ve mentioned doing something on the Wolfe1-B site, and another possibility is they intend to suggest using the small WICK that they already built on site. Mr. Brown spent an unusual amount of time explaining WICK technology today.
The second question that his “absolutely” answer raises is how Wolfeboro is going to prove he is lying. One of the allegations of fraud is that WP represented to Wolfeboro that the site can be repaired when they knew full well that it could not. Here, Mr. Brown leaves no doubt as to whether Wright Pierce said it, so the only element left is whether he knows full well that it cannot be done.
We’re not talking about whether Wolfeboro can convince the jury that it cannot be fixed. That’s simply a difference of opinion. The complaint reads:
D. Continuing to make written and oral statements to Wolfeboro that the Site could handle the design flow and could be repaired after the defects were discovered, despite knowledge that both of these statements were false, and making these statements for the purpose of continuing to generate engineering fees and to attempt to avoid liability.
The Town of Wolfeboro, that’s you and me through our Selectmen and attorneys, have accused Wright Pierce of knowingly lying about it. So I’m going to be there on Monday to see what proof our attorney’s have.