Connell settles lawsuit over sewer malfunction

Connell will receive about $265,000 after a lawsuit over claims of a botched sewer project was settled.

The lawsuit was scheduled to go to a jury trial in Franklin County Superior Court this week.

Connell filed the lawsuit Jan. 19, 2007, claiming the contractor and consulting engineer on the waste water system project failed to install, design, supervise and inspect the system properly.

Connell hired Apollo Inc. of Kennewick for waste water system improvements in September 2000, and Andersen, Perry & Associates Inc. was the consulting engineer on the project, according to court documents.

Connell claimed that after the project was done in January 2003, the main water system began to malfunction because of actions by the two companies. Main line leaks happened numerous times, according to the lawsuit.

Connell City Administrator Steve Taylor said Apollo and Anderson, Perry & Associates agreed to a settlement of about $265,000.

Some of the money will reimburse the city's general fund for legal expenses from the lawsuit, Taylor said. The rest will go to the sewer fund to be used for repairs of the sewer line.

The city has repaired the line as leaks have happened and likely already has taken care of most of the problems, he said.

But if the city needs to replace the pipe, it can use the settlement money, Taylor said.

Apollo and Andersen, Perry & Associates did not return Herald calls about the case. A court settlement means they did not admit any wrongdoing in the case.