Court dismisses summary judgment motion of NAF

By Thomas Wilson


   A motion requesting summary judgment against the City of Elizabethton by defendants named in a sewer line lawsuit was dismissed in Chancery Court in Johnson County.
   Chancellor Richard Johnson refused to grant a motion brought by attorneys representing Charles K. Green and a plethora of companies including North American Fibers named in the lawsuit.
   City attorney, Roger Day, informed Elizabethton City Council Thursday night that the motion had been successfully defended in court. The motion had sought to dismiss the city's suit because the suit did not specify a cause for relief, according to court documents.
   The summary judgment motion was supposed to be heard by Johnson during a hearing in Carter County on Tuesday. However, the defendants' lead attorney -- Stephen Anderson of Baker, Donelson, Bearman and Caldwell -- did not attend the hearing and the summary judgment motion was continued by Johnson.
   The city filed the lawsuit against Charles K. Green, individually, and several companies, in August 2000, alleging that an NAF landfill was sitting on top of one of the city's main sewer lines. The city is seeking $1.3 million to reimburse the city for costs related to the city's sewer extension.
   However, the city said it spent $1,102,745 for the new bypass and that additional interest and debt from the new line is expected to cost $328,841.24 over a 20-year period at the current interest rate of 2.8 percent.
   According to the city's original suit, the city says it paid $10,000 for a sewer easement in 1957, then built the 24-inch West End interceptor which served approximately 40 percent of the city's population.
   The city lawsuit asked that NAF remove material and grant access to the sewer line so that city workers could inspect and maintain it.
   The case is scheduled for trial in Johnson City beginning Monday. Chancellor Johnson has allotted three days for the trial.
   Day said a decision on the case could be made at the judge's discretion either on Wednesday or at a later date in consideration of the pending Christmas holidays.