Hillview retains new attorney for litigation

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 HILLVIEW - The clock is running on Hillview city officials.

The state Court of Appeals did not overturn or alter an $11 million judgment against the Hillview City Council over its breach of contract with Truck America and owners Jim and Debbie Carter.

The city has 30 days to decide whether it would ask the court of appeals for reconsideration of its ruling or ask the state Supreme Court to consider its appeal.

Neither request would be guaranteed.

Over the course of the past two weeks, city officials have held two executive sessions.

At the conclusion of both, mayor Jim Eadens said the city was still considering its options.

Last Thursday, the council did opt to retain a new legal counsel for the appeal.

The council did vote to retain Laura Day DelCotto, an attorney based in Lexington, to represent the city in litigation.

DelCotto Law Group is based in Lexington with additional offices in Somerset, Frankfort and Danville.

Following the conclusion of the closed door executive session, DelCotto said she could not comment on the case at this time.

The litigation with the trucking company goes back over two decades.

Truck America purchased property off Ferguson Lane. The city of Hillview purchased another 40 acres which it had originally hoped to turn into a sports complex.

When that fell through and the city needed income to pay off the loan, then-Mayor Leemon Powell and the council agreed to lease the property to the Carters.

When litigation with the original buyers, Homeplate Enterprises, ended, the Carters were to be given the first option to buy the land for $800,000, minus any monthly rent it had paid to utilize the additional 40 acres.

During a trial to determine damages, the owners claimed that the city’s refusal to honor the contract and sell the 40 acres caused them to lose driving students and the ability to expand into the heavy equipment training business.

They were also going to use the property for securing financing for the students taking the training courses.

During trial, the jury ruled that the trucking company and its operators were damaged to the tune of $11 million.

The city must pay interest on the damages.