I have been told that the parties have arrived at a settlement to the RIB lawsuit. I will try to obtain confirmation over the next few days. Here’s what my source disclosed:
The settlement was agreed to on Friday, August 15. That would be consistent with the series of non-public Selectmen meetings that were noticed and culminated on that day with a meeting in Boston.
Wright-Pierce has agreed to remediate the site. I assume that means that in addition to providing the engineering, they will pay for the work.
It’s not clear if the settlement also includes reimbursing the town for its cumulative legal tab of $1.4 million. There is another report that the town is considering legal action against their attorneys. The blog suggested that possibility in a previous post. Given that the town’s attorneys had led them down a golden path with little possibility that Wright-Pierce could pay the staggering amount of the award, and given that the town’s attorneys filed the case in Federal Court with questionable justification, perhaps the town is considering collecting our attorney fees from their professional liability insurer. I hope not. I hope they have learned their lesson and stop throwing good money after bad.
No doubt the lack of subject matter jurisdiction dismissal motion undermined the town’s position in the post-trial settlement talks. But to recover damages from our attorney’s seems like a catch-22 situation. In order to make the case that they filed in the wrong court, I think they would have to lift the stay on further proceedings and allow the court to actually rule on the motion, and potentially pay for an appeal. On the other hand, if the court were then to dismiss, Wright-Pierce would have no reason to settle.
Then again, it would be an interesting twist of fate to see Wright-Pierce agree to fix the site, and to work with the town against their old attorneys to recoup legal fees. After all, it’s in the best interest of both parties.
You can’t make this stuff up.