California City Cannot Keep Up With Court Costs, Settles 2-Year Water Dispute with Roseburg Forest Products

Ok when was the last time you heard about a city having to settle a lawsuit because it ran out of money?  

Well, a judge approved a settlement between Roseburg Forest Products and the City of Weed, California, last week, ending a two-year legal dispute over water rights.

Under terms of the settlement, the City of Weed agreed the company owns the exclusive right to divert and use 4.07 cubic feet per second of Beaughan Springs water and the City of Weed acknowledged that it has no ownership interest in the water and agreed to end all claims to the water rights.

“We are pleased that the two parties reached an agreement concerning ownership of the Beaughan Springs water rights,” Roseburg Senior Vice President and General Counsel Stuart Gray said. “This litigation was never about monetary compensation. Our intent all along was simply to have the court uphold our clearly established ownership rights and eliminate challenges to such.”

Now the plot thickens (as much as water can). 

Bruce Shoemaker, who was named in a countersuit in 2017 and acts as the media liaison for the nine individuals named in the parallel lawsuit, said the case is more complicated than it seems but essentially boils down to the city couldn’t afford to keep up with the lawsuit.

“This doesn’t prove anything about the water, it just proves that Roseburg Forest Products has more financial resources than the City of Weed did to pursue this case,” Shoemaker said. “It wasn’t decided on its merits. It was decided on who had money for lawyers.”

One side says they’re pleased to reach an agreement, the other says we wouldn’t have agreed but we ran out of money to pursue it further.  Not exactly seeing things eye to eye.  And that’s what happens.  We disagree.  Things get legal and stress levels go up while bank accounts go down.  And when legal disputes adversely affect YOU and YOUR business including landlord/tenant matters, nuisance ADA suits, contract issues and even collections, you can call on the good guy business litigator, Dean Sperling, who will work to resolve YOUR matter with YOUR best interests in mind!

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