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Trial scheduled for Juneau’s suit against apartment owners

March 6, 2018

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Juneau’s suit filed against the owners of an apartment building that had to be demolished with city funds has been scheduled to go to trial Aug. 13.

The matter had been set to go to court this week but was rescheduled, the Juneau Empire reported .

Juneau filed suit against James and Kathleen Barrett and Gastineau Apartments LLC in March 2016. The Barretts owned the Gastineau Apartments, a complex that caught fire twice and had to be demolished by the city after being declared a “public nuisance” in 2015.

The city seeks to recover $1.3 million that it spent demolishing the building.

By the time the city finished paying contractors and others who helped in the process, that number rose to about $1.6 million.

City attorney Amy Mead said she has made a motion to get the Barretts to disclose their bank records. There will be a hearing April 19 where lawyers will give verbal arguments on whether it’s necessary for the Barretts to disclose them.

Mead said the records will help in determining what happened to the insurance proceeds the Barretts received after the fires and how that money was used.

The Barretts’ lawyer, Joe Josephson, declined to comment on the status of the case.

After the initial fire in 2012, the building sat vacant for years and continued to deteriorate, Mead said. The city deemed it a “public nuisance” after the second fire in 2015 and demolished the building in January 2016.

The property is currently vacant and owned by Kathleen Barrett and Breffni Properties, which also owns the Bergmann Hotel and two nearby houses.

Kathleen Barrett, 80, is in failing health and has expressed interest in pursuing a settlement, said Dave D’amato, who holds her power of attorney.


Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com

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