default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Consultants sue city over unpaid bills

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Monday, October 11, 2004 10:00 pm

The City of Lodi is facing still more lawsuits related to its groundwater pollution case, this time from consultants seeking nearly $1 million in unpaid bills.

Both lawsuits were filed by an attorney who also represents the Odd Fellows Hall Association, which has been involved in the city's litigation for years.

In the suits filed Thursday in San Joaquin County court, Environmental Forensic Investigations Inc. and Magellan Environmental Inc. each seek restitution and damages.

The companies both allege that they were not paid for work done on the city's ongoing lawsuit concerning pollution in much of downtown Lodi. That work included technical sewer studies designed to prove at trial that the city was not responsible for spreading contamination, according to the Environmental Forensics suit. The city has since changed legal directions and is seeking to settle the case against more than 100 parties, including the News-Sentinel.

Each consulting company filed claims with the city earlier this year, and the Lodi City Council denied them both. A claim is a precursor to a lawsuit.

"The City of Lodi does not have an authorized contract with either one of them," City Attorney Stephen Schwabauer said Monday.

Though former City Attorney Randy Hays approved some of the work, he did not do so as "an officer of the city," Schwabauer said, adding that the City Council never hired either consulting firm.

In the claims filed with the city last spring, Magellan sought a little less than $41,000 for unpaid work. Environmental Forensics asked for nearly $900,000. Company owners could not be reached Monday, and the Pleasanton office phone number for Magellan has been disconnected.

Attorney David Isola, who filed both lawsuits, could not be reached for comment Monday. Courts and some law offices were closed Monday for the Columbus Day holiday.

Isola works with attorney Aaron Bowers, who represents the Lodi Odd Fellows Hall Association. The association, along with the News-Sentinel, was one of the original 15 parties the city sued in federal court in 2000. Though Bowers has handled the association's suit against the city, court records show that Isola is representing the Odd Fellows in a suit filed this year against Beckman Capital Corporation, another party involved in the city's original suit. The consultants' lawsuits are not the first to be filed. In late August, consulting firm Exponent Inc. also sued the city, though Schwabauer said he has yet to see a copy of the suit.

Contact reporter Layla Bohm at layla@lodinews.com.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.


Popular Stories


Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 187


Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists