Town, Yard Boss settle defamation lawsuit

By Georgia Sparling | Feb 15, 2017
Photo by: Georgia Sparling Yard Boss and the Town of Mattapoisett have settled a $250,000 lawsuit for just under $10,000.

Mattapoisett — Yard Boss Landscape Design and the Town of Mattapoisett have settled a $250,000 defamation lawsuit out of court, with the town paying $9,800.

According to a statement released by Yard Boss owner Todd Rodrigues’ lawyer, Michael Franco, the town agreed to pay $9,800 to reimburse attorney fees incurred over the issue.

In April 2016, Rodrigues filed a lawsuit against Conservation Chair Bob Rogers and Conservation Agent Elizabeth Leidhold over statements made in a public meeting questioning the legality of Yard Boss’s water withdrawals from the Mattapoisett River for hydroseeding.

In one Conservation Commission meeting Rogers said, “It seems like Yard Boss is not getting the message that this is not an activity that is allowed nor is it something that they would be able to get permission for.”

Rodrigues said previous board members told him the withdrawal was lawful. He said the board was “out of line” and “unprofessional.”

In the settlement, Town Administrator Mike Gagne, authorized by Selectmen, states that the lawsuit “has been resolved in a negotiated settlement with no admission of liability or wrongdoing by any party.”

The statement goes on to say that Mattapoisett agrees Yard Boss didn’t do anything wrong by taking water out for hydroseeding, and goes on to say, “The Town of Mattapoisett regrets the difficulties that this situation may have created for Yard Boss.”

In a statement released on Tuesday, Rodrigues said, “I have no desire to hurt the town financially, so I am pleased that we have worked out a settlement that clears the reputation of Yard Boss and hopefully sends a loud message to the Conservation Commission officials involved.”

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