City and Siemens agree to mediating lawsuitBy ANTHONY WARREN,
A settlement could be on the horizon in the city of Jackson’s $225 million lawsuit against Siemens Industry.
In a letter dated August 14, attorneys for the city of Jackson and Siemens Industry Inc. notified the courts that the parties had “decided to try to reach a resolution through mediation.”
The letter was delivered to Judge Frank Vollor, who was appointed to preside over the case after attorneys in Hinds County recused themselves.
The document goes on to state that the mediation efforts should wrap up by the end of September, and that the court would be notified when the talks conclude.
According to the letter, Jackson and Siemens have “agreed to exchange some limited discovery in advance of the mediation” and had agreed to stay other filing deadlines in the case.
Jackson is seeking $225 million in damages in connection with a $90 million energy performance contract with Siemens. The firm was brought on in 2012 to completely overhaul the city’s water billing system.
Work was completed in 2015. Since then, numerous problems have arisen. Those complications came to a head in the spring of 2018, when the city announced that more than 15,000 of the city’s water and sewer customers were not receiving regular bills. That number was revised to approximately 23,000 later.
The city filed suit against Siemens, a Siemens employee and its subcontractors in June.
According to court documents, the city said the international firm perpetrated “a massive fraud” against the city severely damaging its finances, destroying its credit and ruining its reputation among residents.
Among claims, Jackson said Siemens guaranteed $120 million in savings as a result of the work, which included installing new meters, building and implementing a new billing system and making some repairs to the city’s treatment plants and sewer lines.
A copy of the letter sent to Vollor can be found on the Sun’s website.