653-2023

Emergency Ordinance

*Pay settlement of Jordan Ward and Caitlin Hemphill property damage lawsuit for $60,000 involving the Bureau of Environmental Services and the Portland Bureau of Transportation

Referred

The City of Portland ordains:

Section 1. The Council finds:

  1. Jordan Ward and Caitlin Hemphill (Blue Bucket), through attorneys Holly Pettit and Peter J. Viteznik for Ward and Brian Chenoweth and Lauren Butz for Hemphill (Blue Bucket), have filed a lawsuit against the City for damages related to a sewer repair involving the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services and the Portland Bureau of Transportation on June 14, 2021. 
     
  2. The lawsuit has been investigated by Risk Management Services. The investigation indicates there is risk the City may be found liable.  Therefore, in order to avoid the risk of an adverse jury award, we feel it is prudent to compromise the lawsuit at this time.
     
  3. Risk Management Services recommends the lawsuit be compromised for the total sum of $60,000, subject to the claimant providing the City with a release in a form to be approved by the City Attorney. 

NOW, THEREFORE, the Council directs:

  1. That the Settlement Agreement and Release of All Claims in substantially the form attached hereto as Exhibit A is hereby approved and the City Attorney is authorized to execute the Settlement Agreement on behalf of the City.
  2. The Mayor and the City Auditor are hereby authorized to draw and deliver a check in the amount of $60,000 made payable to Sussman Shank LLP Client Trust Account.
  3. Risk Management Services will execute a payment authorization in the amount set forth in sub-paragraph (a) above.

Section 2. The Council declares that an emergency exists in order to avoid undue and costly delay in settling this property damage lawsuit; therefore, this Ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage by the Council.

Impact Statement

Purpose of Proposed Legislation and Background Information

This Ordinance settles a property damage lawsuit brought by Jordan Ward and Caitlin Hemphill, resulting from a sewer back up after a sewer repair in north Portland.

Financial and Budgetary Impacts

This legislation will have no impact on City revenue.

Total cost to the City to settle the lawsuit is $60,000. The source of funding is the City’s Insurance and Claims Fund. All cost of the settlement is in the current fiscal year. This Ordinance does not amend the budget.

Community Impacts and Community Involvement

This Ordinance settles a lawsuit resulting from damage from a sewer backup involving the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services and the Portland Bureau of Transportation. No public involvement or input was sought regarding this Ordinance. The City Attorney’s Office and Risk Management have concluded that it is not appropriate to have public involvement in settlement negotiations regarding tort claims or lawsuits against the City.

No future public involvement is anticipated or necessary.  Approval by City Council of this Ordinance will fully settle a tort claim against the City of Portland.

100% Renewable Goal

This legislation will have no impact on City energy use.

Budget Office Financial Impact Analysis

Total cost to the City to settle the lawsuit is $60,000. The source of funding is the City’s Insurance and Claims Fund. All costs of the settlement are in the current fiscal year. 

Document History

Item 653 Regular Agenda in August 2, 2023 Council Agenda

City Council

Referred to Commissioner of Finance and Administration

Introduced by

Contact

Karren Bond

Sr. Claims Analyst

Requested Agenda Type

Regular

Date and Time Information

Requested Council Date
Time Requested
15 minutes