After reviewing a legal memorandum from Town Counsel analyzing the likelihood of winning a reversal of Judge Sheriden’s decision in Town of Branford v. Arrowood Indemnity Co. et al., I have reached the conclusion that is not in the best interest of the taxpayers and citizens of Branford to pursue the remnants of the Tabor litigation any further.
The time has come to put an end to one of the most disappointing chapters of Branford’s history. It is my hope that the Board of Selectmen’s recent action to remove Tabor from consideration as a site for a new Public Works facility, and my decision today to bring an end to this final piece of Tabor-related litigation, will allow our town to move beyond the negativity associated with Tabor.
My decision today is based on a variety of factors, including the following:
The Town was given a legal opinion in 2007 that insurance coverage under the Arrowood policy was unlikely, based on legal precedent and the wording of the policy.
Notwithstanding the 2007 opinion, the Town retained a New York law firm in 2008 to develop a new theory of recovery in order to pursue a claim against Arrowood.
The Town has paid over $345,000 in legal fees associated with pursuing this claim.
The Town has been paying its legal fees in this case out of borrowed funds, which means taxpayers will pay both the attorneys’ fees as well as interest on the bond monies used to pay those fees.
Even if the Town were to be successful in overturning Judge Sheriden’s decision (which, after reading the legal analysis of the issue, I am convinced would not be the case), the litigation would continue beyond a simple appeal, because there exist other defenses to coverage that Arrowood could raise, but which have not yet been considered by the court. This will mean hundreds of thousands of dollars more in legal fees, with no clear prospect of recovery.
In short, I do not believe Branford should throw good money after bad.
The Town will not appeal the Arrowood decision.