Charges Dismissed in Richardson Bay Sanitary District Lawsuit
City Manager Jim McCann is very pleased to announce the resounding decision issued by the Marin Superior Court on March 14 denying and dismissing all claims and allegations by the Richardson Bay Sanitary District against the City of Mill Valley.
In 2012, Richardson Bay Sanitary District (RBSD), one of the six member agencies of the Sewerage Agency of Southern Marin (SASM), filed suit against the City of Mill Valley alleging that the sanitary sewer overflows that occurred during the significant storms of January 25, 2008 and January 31, 2008 were caused by the City of Mill Valley’s negligent management of the SASM Wastewater Treatment Plant. RBSD officials sought monetary damages for alleged losses, fines, and forfeitures imposed by regulatory agencies in the aftermath of the tremendous storm events.
The City rejected RBSD’s allegations and argued that the City’s Wastewater Treatment staff in fact performed appropriately and well during the storm events, that RBSD’s failure to maintain its facilities was a significant contributor to the overflow events, and that RBSD had no legal claim for reimbursement.
Judge William A. McKinstry, serving in the Marin County Superior Court, issued a tentative decision on March 14 in the City’s favor, dismissing all charges brought by the RBSD.
Mayor Andrew Berman, who represents the City of Mill Valley on SASM’s Board of Directors said, “I am very pleased with this outcome and have always been confident that our staff did everything reasonably proper during the storm events and that we would prevail when the facts were reviewed objectively. This decision reaffirms that the City performed its functions in an outstanding manner under very difficult circumstances.”
City Manager McCann noted that, “We will move forward with the SASM Board to continue our commitment to environmental stewardship and good service to our residents and businesses within the sewer agency’s boundaries.” He added that the City will examine its options to recover the costs the City has incurred in the successful defense against this lawsuit.