$12M Verdict Against County for Interfering with Contract

Chehalis, WA

Experienced gravel mine operators purchased land from Port of Tacoma with an existing 20-year permit to mine gravel in Thurston County. Enviromental opponents of the mine gained control of county commission and placed numerous hurdles in the way of the mining operation. The commission arbitraily ordered additional environmental studies and hearings even though County’s hearing examiner had already ruled that the gravel mining operation was complying with all rules applicable at the time the permit was issued. As a result of the delay, uncertainty and legal expenses, the mine failed and the property reverted to the seller, Port of Tacoma. After a four week trial, the jury awarded $4 Million for the gravel mining firm and $8 Million for the port authority against County. This was the largest land-use verdict in Washington history.

Friedman | Rubin Trial Lawyer: Don Bauermeister – Bremerton, WA
Co-counsel: Jed Powell – Seattle, WA; The Port was represented by co-counsel Pat Schneider and Steve Gillespie of Seattle.