Judge Michael Shaughnessy of the Court of Common Pleas ruled in favor of the City of Westlake on Tuesday, July 21, in the case of City of Westlake v. City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Case No. CV-12-782910.
This case involved a declaratory judgment action originally filed by Westlake in May of 2012. In the lawsuit, Westlake asked the court to determine what the cities’ respective rights were under the agreement, relating to fresh water distribution from the Cleveland Water Department.
The court upheld the terms of the original contract between Westlake and the City of Cleveland, which stipulates that a one-year notice is required should the city ever decide to end the contract, which it has no plans of doing at this time.
“I appreciate the court interpreting the contract as written,” said Mayor Dennis Clough.
“Westlake has for years agreed to the very terms the court has set forth in its order. Cleveland would never agree to the simple, obvious solution arrived at by the court," Law Director Mike Maloney said. “I know Cleveland will not agree even now. There will be an appeal filed within days, mark my words. And the case will continue to hemorrhage legal fees for the City of Cleveland.”
Maloney continued: “It is disturbing to have witnessed the money wasted by Cleveland on this case. I gave up trying to understand who has really been in charge of this litigation at their end. Westlake has reached out repeatedly to put an end the madness. Cleveland’s attorneys have always rejected our efforts. I cannot imagine Cleveland City Council has been properly advised as what has been going on.”
It is anticipated that Cleveland will file yet another appeal, adding to the already extraordinary time and expense of this case.
The court’s decision is available online.