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GMR School lawsuit work continues

Greenbush School site

Ryan Bergeron

When Greenbush-Middle River Superintendent arrived at the GMR Board’s November 18 meeting agenda item related to the lawsuit being brought against the school by the Middle River Annexation Group, he mentioned how there wasn’t much to report at this time, but did want to discuss a question brought to him related to the lawsuit.

Currently, work related to the lawsuit continues, as lawyers on both sides are working in the background on discovery, or the collecting of information. This info will eventually be brought to Roseau County Judge Donna Dixon. But, as previously reported in The Tribune, a final result in this lawsuit won’t come in the next few months.

According to the GMR November 18 agenda, here is a timeline of some of the upcoming lawsuit events. Full discovery must be completed by May 1, 2020. A motion or motions to dismiss the lawsuit are due by June 5, 2020. After this time, both sides will await a court decision, and if a motion to dismiss isn’t granted, a court date will take place in October 2020.

According to a press release courtesy of the Brudvik Law Office— representing the 400 plus petitioners of the Middle River Annexation Group— a court trial is scheduled for October 8 and 9, 2020.

“It’s not going to be moving along at a face pace for quite some time,” Guggisberg said.

Guggisberg also addressed a common question brought to him in regards to this lawsuit, specifically who is paying for the legal fees. As reported in a Tribune editorial printed in the November 13 issue, Guggisberg explained how the district has insurance coverage for this lawsuit, including its attorney fees. Under its policy, the district pays a $5,000 retention fee. When the attorney’s billable hours reach that $5,000 threshold, the cost for billable attorney hours after that goes to the district’s insurer. This $5,000 fee are the only district tax dollars going towards this lawsuit.

“Essentially when someone says they’re going to sue the school, what’s happening is they’re suing the insurance company,” Guggisberg said. “And so, you have not received any bills associated with this because it goes directly to your insurance company for this.”

To see the complete GMR School Board story, read the December 4 issue of The Tribune in print or online.

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