Lawyers for both sides in the Wilbros civil suit have commented on a judge’s order to send the two sides into mediation later this month and postpone today’s continuation of the preliminary injunction hearing.
Last week, Superior Court Judge Robert Adamson ordered attorneys for both sides into mediation this month. As a result, he continued the hearing on the Plaintiffs’ Motion for a Preliminary Injunction against Wilbros, which began on December 11 and was to resume today, until February 20.
The attorney representing Stephens County, the city of Toccoa, the Stephens County School System, and the Concerned Citizens of Toccoa-Stephens County, who are the plaintiffs in the case, Don Stack, said he feels that the judge made the right decision by calling for mediation.
“Mediation, I think, is usually a better scenario than spending multiple days in a hearing,” said Stack. “The mediation is going to actually involve a number of experts who truly have a better understanding of what can and cannot be accomplished more so than lawyers and even judges and I think Judge Adamson acknowledged that and recognized that.”
The attorney representing Wilbros and the other defendants, Steven Gilliam, also agreed with the mediation decision.
“We are very pleased with it,” said Gilliam. “We had discussions with the court after we had the hearing. This is what we were prepared to do and offered to do is go to mediation over it.”
The mediation is scheduled to take place on January 24 or 25 and be complete no later than the end of this month.
Judge Adamson also ordered that the court receive an update on that mediation no later than February 1.
Stephens County, the city of Toccoa, the Stephens County School System, and the Concerned Citizens of Toccoa-Stephens County, LLC are seeking a preliminary injunction against Wilbros.
Those entities have sued the Rose Lane facility over the odor emanating from it. The suit alleges that the odor from the Wilbros’ facility is so strong that it interferes with the commercial, residential, economic, and aesthetic interests of the community, as well as causing health issues. Wilbros and the other defendants have asked the court to dismiss all of the suit’s claims and deny all of the allegations asserted by the plaintiffs in the suit.