Road 5 mediation ends without settlement

By Bryan Reynolds -

OTTAWA — Mediation in the Road 5 lawsuit in Putnam County held July 10 and 11 in the Putnam County Courthouse Assembly Room failed to produce a settlement.

In 2012 the Putnam County Commissioners used eminent domain to seize the property of a number of Road 5 residents to widen the treacherous roadway by 10 feet on either side. A group of 13 property owners on Road 5 did not accept the offers and accused the commissioners of violating the Ohio Sunshine Act.

Linde Webb, a Toledo-based attorney representing the Road 5 residents, said nothing was solved during the two day mediation.

“I really wish it had been,” Webb said. “We wanted to do a global settlement, so that all cases would be settled and we would be done. It just didn’t work.”

In a global settlement, not only would the local cases have been settled, but the federal cases would also have been closed, she said.

The mediator was Judge Peter Handwork, a retired appellate judge from Lucas County, and Webb had hoped he would have convinced the county commissioners to finally settle both the eminent domain and Road 5 civil cases.

“We put forth every effort we could but could not reach a resolution,” said Commissioner Vincent Schroeder.

Webb filed a summary judgment motion and is waiting on the ruling. If that motion is rejected, the case will go to trial, which is something she objects to because Putnam County Common Pleas Judge Keith Schierloh has condensed 13 distinct properties into a single, four-day trial.

“You deserve your own jury if you have property,” Webb said. “Everybody’s property is different. I’ve never heard of such before because they’re not common owners. It would not be fair with any of the landowners.”

Webb’s motion to unconsolidate the trial was denied.

On Aug. 3, visiting Judge Dale A. Crawford granted one half of the supplemental attorney fees and costs to be paid in one part of the Road 5 case, but Webb said there was some confusion concerning the ruling. She will be filing a motion of clarification.

By Bryan Reynolds

Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362.

Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362.

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