Ludington settles lawsuit with Rotta

June 14, 2013

LUDINGTON — The Ludington City Council has approved the settlement of a lawsuit filed by Tom Rotta against the city and City Manager John Shay. The lawsuit alleged the city and Shay violated Rotta’s constitutional rights related to the city’s workplace safety policy.

The suit arose from the issuance of a letter of trespass against Rotta, which prevented him from coming to city hall. Employees there had felt threatened due to alleged harassment from Rotta.

“While the city was confident that it would have prevailed at trial, the city’s legal counsel indicated that it would cost tens of thousands of dollars in legal expenses to try this case,” Shay wrote in a press release. “Given the potential for significant financial exposure of hundreds of thousands of dolars due to the ever present unpredictable nature of jury decisions, the city council felt it was prudent to settle the case for $15,000. The city’s insurance carrier has now issued the settlement check to resolve this lawsuit.”

As part of the settlement, the city denies any liability or wrongdoing in the case, Shay said.

Rotta has filed numerous Freedom of Information Act requests against the city and many other local governments. His issues with the city seemed to have stemmed from receiving a moving vehicle ticket a few years ago because he failed to yield for several stop signs on his bicycle.

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