Now that both sides have rested their case, I’ll tell you what I think. First understand that this isn’t a prediction of what the jury will decide. They have less information and must decide based on the law and how the parties have positioned themselves.
I think that Wright Pierce did a good job of helping the town resolve the administrative order. I think they did a good job of locating a site for a RIB system, and I think they did a good job of designing and overseeing construction of the disposal facility and related infrastructure. The Monday Morning Experts aside, I’m reasonably convinced that the site was capable of handling the town’s disposal needs, although some selective slope armoring and wetland erosion mitigation may have eventually been needed. WP said as early as 2007 that might happen, and the project was sufficiently under budget to pay for it.
I think the evidence is undisputed that the town severely overloaded the system during April of 2009, the second month of operation. I think that caused the slope failure, but am not convinced that the slope would not have exhibited some problems over time and might have required some armoring as a result, as explained above.
I think the unmitigated soil piping since that initial failure has led to continuing and escalating site deterioration and increased operational costs of the site, as well as the cost to operate substantial spray field supplement.
I believe that the town withheld the extent of the overloading from WP until forced to provide the NHDES required flow charts as part of discovery in this lawsuit, and that if WP had that information initially, they would have been better equipped to understand what happened and recommend action.
I think that by retaining legal council and refusing to work with WP in good faith to resolve the issues, the town has transformed what was a straightforward engineering problem into a huge legal gamble.
Finally, I believe that the site can be fixed to handle our present and future needs, possibly with seasonal operation of our existing spray fields, at much less cost than abandoning the site to pursue another solution.
A lawsuits is a means to resolve a dispute, not a problem. No matter which way the court goes, the problem will remain and will still require a solution. I believe this could have been resolved years ago.