Prosser School District owes attorney fees

Ty Beaver, Tri-City HeraldDecember 12, 2013 

The Prosser School District owes more than $18,000 in attorney fees after the state appeals court said a family's partial breach of a past agreement didn't eliminate the district's requirement to cover the family's legal fees.

The suit stems from a series of claims and counterclaims concerning special education services for the son of Bruce and Joanne Rick.

The district and Ricks made an agreement in 2006 to drop some of their claims. The Ricks agreed to enroll their son in the district and the district agreed to provide two years of services, as well as pay the family's legal expenses.

Another dispute arose and the Ricks took the district back to court to get them to pay the fees.

Since then, the district said the Rick family violated the agreement by not enrolling their son and they asked for damages.

A Benton Superior Court judge said the Ricks violated the 2006 agreement by not enrolling their son but that only meant the district did not have to provide the services. The judge said the district still owed the legal fees and rejected the district's claim for the Ricks to pay court costs.

The Washington Court of Appeals agreed the Ricks violated part of their agreement and so aren't owed everything in the agreement, court documents said. However, the court agreed with the previous ruling that the breach didn't absolve the district of its responsibility to cover the family's attorney fees.

-- Ty Beaver: 509-582-1402; tbeaver@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @_tybeaver; Google+: +TyBeaverTCHerald

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