The Lodi (Calif.) News-Sentinel has settled a long-running lawsuit over soil and groundwater contamination by agreeing to pay the city of Lodi $2 million – – much of it from the personal or business funds of the paper’s Weybret family owners.
In a statement to his newspaper, Publisher Marty Weybret declined to say how much would come from the newspaper and how much from insurance.
“The most important thing is that we’ve stopped spending money on court, investigation and litigation, and we’ve started spending money on cleaning up Lodi,” Weybret said, according to the story by staff writer Layla Bohm. “I’m done spending money proving I’m innocent.”
The News-Sentinel and more than a dozen other downtown business have been in a legal fight with the city since 2000, when Lodi filed suit in federal court claiming they were responsible for a so-called “Central Plume” of the chemical perchloroethylene that has contaminated an area of downtown soil and groundwater. In recent months, according to local reports, the city changed its legal strategy from litigation to pressing for settlements. In December, it settled with a dry cleaner for $4.2 million.