Lawsuit Concerning Sports Park Funding Resolved in Mediation
Saturday, September, 2, 2017
The ongoing three year legal dispute over the companies that worked on the El Paso County Sportspark and the county finally ended this month when a mediated agreement was reached between the parties.
The dispute between the county and two contractors – Sunlight Enterprises Co. Inc., and architects Parkhill Smith & Cooper was scheduled for trial in August, but the sides managed to come to an agreement concerning the delayed renovations.
The agreement manages to recover some of the county’s money. Three of the county commissions voted for it, while one voted against it. County Judge Veronica Escobar, who had attended the mediation discussions, was absent for the vote.
According to the mutually agreed upon settlement, the county will not be forced to pay any of the outstanding balance of nearly $900,000 to Sunlight Enterprises. It will also receive $500,000 in reimbursement from the architectural firm. All parties will drop mutual claim against one another, and will be responsible for their own legal fees.
A county representative said he was unhappy with the settlement and all mediation accomplished was making everyone unhappy. He believes the county did not receive enough money, and points out the county also spent a lot of time and energy on the problem. He acknowledged being happy the dispute is over, but stated again he was not happy with how it was wrapped up.
Sunlight Enterprises was awarded the contract in 2012. In 2014, both Sunlight and the architectural firm were fired. Many of the completion dates were not met and another construction company was hired. Sunlight filed a $3 million lawsuit against the county as a result of the firing, and the county countersued to recover the money it had paid the company, as well as its attorney’s fees.