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Mercer Island $94K Attorney Fee Award to be Paid by City Funds

The Mercer Island Reporter recently reported on the outcome of a pending suit that will affect the city’s taxpayers. U.S. District Court Judge James Robart has orded the City of Mercer Island to pay over $94,000 in attorneys’ fees to a plaintiff in a wrongful termination suit. In mid-July, Londi Lindell had been awarded $1 million in damages against the Washington Cities Insurance Association for her wrongful dismissal. During the course of her lawsuit, Lindell claims that the city withheld or delayed providing documents in violation of the Public Records Act. While the city was ordered to pay a fine of more than $90,000 related to the document issue, Lindell incurred attorney fees.

Mercer Island’s attorney “objected to Lindell’s claims for the attorney fees due to lack of documentation, unreasonable rates and the excessive number of hours charged by her attorneys.” Although she inevitably was awarded only half of her fee request, the Mercer Island Reporter draws attention to the fact that the fees will be paid by city funds, rather than the city’s insurance company, Washington Cities Insurance Association. Mercer Island’s attorney states that “the city is disappointed by the award.”

Controlling Legal Costs had originally commented on this story in July when Mercer Island was first served with the fee request.

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