On the evening of Thursday, October 2 the Pine Tree Independent School District (PTISD) Board of Trustees voted in favor of a mediated settlement to conclude litigation over construction issues related to its middle school.
After fruitless efforts to attach responsibility for assorted structural defects in the school the PTISD, in 2013, sued multiple companies for design and construction flaws on the campus in question. Council representing the district participated in a legal discovery process and with depositions from qualified witnesses. Before the case reached the trial stage all involved parties took part in a mediation conducted on Spetember 9, 2014. Although a final settlement was not reached at that time the mediation was ongoing until all parties agreed on the current proposition.
The settlement will pay PTISD $820,500. The school district was not informed as to what percentage of this total came from each individual defendant, but the settlement does end the lawsuit and dismiss it from court. All defendants had already signed the mediated agreement, and the board’s Thursday night acceptance completes and concludes the legal process.
Because this settlement enables the district to bypass the possibility of a different decision being reached in a civil trial the district will also be spared any additional legal costs, expert witness expenses, and delays that would likely stem from the trial.
The settlement will cover the district’s costs required to remediate the campus to repair the building defects, and implement new systems intended to head off any future issues, both of which came from the district’s general fund.
The district’s tenacity in pursuing this solution to the building errors reflects its commitment to providing its students with the best possible learning environment. This settlement, by its nature, will also benefit PTISD employees and supporting taxpayers.

 

ETR staff report