FORT ANN — Almost 12 years after the collapse of the Hadlock Pond dam, the long-running litigation finally came to an end earlier this month with the final settlement of all remaining claims.
“We are settled, and we are about to start sending out checks,” said attorney Paul Wein, who represented a total of 170 individuals involving 80 properties upstream from the dam, which gave way in June 2005.
The settlement, which involved the town of Fort Ann, dam builder Kubricky Construction Co. and subcontractors that included Atlantic Testing Laboratories and HTE Engineering, ends the litigation regarding the dam collapse.
For Supervisor Richard Moore, the settlement not only allows him to fulfill a campaign promise, it comes at no additional expense to the town, which was one of the defendants.
“It is unfortunate it took this long to get all of the claims taken care of,” said Moore, who lives upstream but took a previous settlement and was not involved in this lawsuit. “The important thing is that it is all settled, and the town did not have to make any financial contribution to the claims.”
The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, according to Wein, who said that is typical in such cases, but the town’s portion of the settlement was covered by its insurance carrier, the New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal.
“For a time, both NYMIR and the town refused to pay the claims, but when I took over as supervisor, one of my goals was to get this litigation taken care of,” he said. “The fact that it took this long is just mind-boggling.”
Wein said a trial in the case was scheduled to start June 5, and he praised Moore’s efforts in getting to a settlement.
“Richard Moore was instrumental in moving this to a conclusion,” Wein said.
Most of the downstream plaintiffs settled after a 2010 trial led to a verdict that split blame among the town, Kubricky and the subcontractors.
A small number of upstream plaintiffs, including Moore, also later settled, but the majority, represented by Wein, continued to seek damages.
Wein said all of the defendants had their shares of the settlement covered by their insurance carriers.
The town also sued the contractors and won a $3.9 million settlement from them.
The dam was rebuilt and the pond refilled in 2008.
You can read Bill Toscano’s blog at poststar.com/blogs or his updates on Twitter, @billtoscano_ps.
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