Defense rests

Today WP put on their last expert witness, John Kastrinos, a hydrogeologist from Haley and Aldrich.  Mr. Kastrinos was accepted as an expert without objection.

The defense took him through his history of projects that included a couple of RIB systems, most notably a 4.5 million gallon per day system at Devens, MA.  He basically testified that in his opinion WP met the standard of care for a hydrogeologist in siting, modeling, and determining capacity of the RIB.

Of particular interest was his explanation of his rationale in approving the siting effort.  He pointed out that Wolfeboro is a challenging place for land based disposal because the bedrock is close to the surface in most areas.  He said that the best opportunities in that envirnment are usually in what e called “ice” formations typically classified as Eskers and Kames.  He said that this particular site had the advantage that it was along an existing power line right of way that made it possible to construct a pipeline from the existing storage pond without crossing roads or acquiring new rights of way.

On cross, Wolfeboro’s Ms. Cull started in on the 600,000 gpd thing.  Mr. Kastrinos offered his opinion that the site was qualified for a maximum of 600,000 gallons per day, and that more than that would result in breakout above the existing defined discharge area – as happened in April of 2009.

After Mr. Kastrinos, the defense rested, an dthe jury was dismissed until 10:00 am tomorrow when the parties will present closing arguments of a maximum one hour, to be followed by the judge’s instructions to the jury, then off to deliberation.

Afterward, the parties had a bench session that appeared to be a lively discussion as to whether the defense theory of comparative fault will be allowed.  That’s where the jury would decide if the Town’s loading of up to 950,000 gallons per day in April of 2009 should be considered by the jury as a contributing factor in the problem.

Prior to the trial the court put Wright Pierce on notice that the comparative fault claim would need to be substantiated by expert testimony.  After three weeks of hearing about the 800,000+ gallon loading in April of 2009 immediately preceding the undisputed failure, it seems like it would take an extremely literal view of any such requirement to prevent the court from putting the question to the jury.

Another defense of failure to mitigate bears the same standard. All those questions should be answered tomorrow when the jusge charges the jury.

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