Bridgeport, hospital work on settlement of up to $30K for ‘pond’

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By Ted Pennekamp


At its September meeting, the Bridgeport Town Board approved of negotiating and entering into a settlement agreement with Crossing Rivers Health Medical Center and Rural Mutual Insurance Company with the town contributing up to $30,000 toward the settlement.

Crossing Rivers Health Chief Financial Officer, Chris Brophy, said the settlement is not final yet and that attorneys are still working on it.

The anticipated settlement involves the lawsuit filed by Crossing Rivers Health against the town of Bridgeport, Crawford County and eight other defendants regarding the growing “pond” on hospital property. Crossing Rivers Health claimed in the lawsuit that the defendants are responsible for the continued growth of the pond because of the 2016 Vineyard Road Project, which the hospital claims is the reason rain water is diverted to their property, rather than to other locations.

A mediation hearing on the lawsuit was held in Madison on Sept. 6. A letter to Judge Craig Day by Christine Rice of Simpson & Deardorff, S.C. of Milwaukee, states that the plaintiff, Crossing Rivers Health, along with defendants, the town of Bridgeport, John Karnopp, Michael Steiner, and Alan Flansburgh, as well as intervenor Rural Mutual Insurance Company, reached a settlement. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed at that time.

Representatives from the town of Bridgeport and Crossing Rivers Health were present at the mediation hearing. 

The Crawford County Highway Department is a defendant in the lawsuit. At the Sept. 26 highway committee meeting, it was stated that the highway department has not been contacted by Crossing Rivers Health, and thus, will not respond until the matter becomes pertinent. 

The hospital filed the lawsuit on Feb. 21. The lawsuit alleges that a road improvement project on Vineyard Road in 2016 left about half of the 105-acre Crossing Rivers Health property permanently underwater due to changes in drainage, and as a result, the property’s value has gone down.

A telephone status conference regarding the lawsuit and the anticipated settlement is scheduled for 8:45 a.m. on Nov. 19 in Crawford County Circuit Court.

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