Dispute Dragged On Far Too Long

Steubenville officials were right to stick with a $2.5 million lawsuit over a water system pump station. Sometimes, public officials simply give up on such attempts to recover the public’s money.

It is easy to see why. Back-and-forth haggling among attorneys can drag such actions out to seemingly interminable lengths. In this case, Steubenville’s lawsuit was filed eight years ago.

A tentative agreement was reached finally, perhaps prompted by pressure from plans for the suit to go to trial June 17.

Reportedly, DLZ Ohio, the company sued by the city, will pay Steubenville a total of $2.5 million in three installments, with the final one on or before July 1, 2015. An agreement reached previously with another company should net the city $540,000.

That is a total of more than $3 million in recovery for taxpayers. Again, city officials merit praise for pursuing the matter.

But eight years? No wonder some people think the court system’s primary function is to provide attorneys with a reliable, ongoing source of riches.