Legal battle over sludge finally over - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Legal battle over sludge finally over

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August 23, 2004

Albany - The city of Albany loses its appeal in a suit over contaminated groundwater. "The City entered into a $1,000,000 settlement with the homeowners," said City Attorney Nathan Davis. "We were attempting to get our money back, but we lost." And, now it looks like the City should never have paid a $1-million settlement in the 6 year old lawsuit.

The Court of Appeals upheld a decision in favor of Bubber Pippin and Sani-Argi Services. In 1998, 109 people sued the City because of well-water contamination on Old Pretoria Road.

The city settled the $1-million lawsuit and promptly sued Bubber Pippin and Sani-Agri Services, saying Pippin's company contaminated the water by spreading sludge on his land. The City said Pippin should have to help pay the settlement. A Superior Court Judge disagreed, citing a lack of evidence that the sludge caused the elevated nitrate levels in the water. The city appealed the Judge's ruling.

"It's over," said Attorney Davis, who was not the city's attorney when the case began. "There is a process where you could go the Supreme Court. Quite frankly, I don't think they would hear it. So the case is over from a practical stand-point."

Bubber Pippin says there was never proof that the sludge caused the contamination.

Posted at 4:31PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com