Mediation recently proved unsuccessful in the Dutch Creek Road case. The legal issues began when a couple residing on the road filed a lawsuit in Athens County Common Pleas Court claiming that for health reasons, they wanted to block chip-and-seal work on the road.
The couple, Cindi and Robert Madek, filed the lawsuit against Jeff Maiden, the county engineer. The judge in the case ordered mediation and two mediation sessions followed. During the mediation meetings, information was exchanged and analyzed, but the two sides were unable to reach an agreement. There are no additional mediation sessions planned and the judge scheduled a final hearing for mid-June. This does not mean the case might not be resolved before it goes to trial, but those familiar with the case aren’t optimistic.
According to information from the court, the Madej’s are concerned about the impact the paving process could have on Cindi. The chip and seal process uses petroleum-based emulsion. The lawsuit claims Cindi suffers from multiple chemical sensitivities, as well as a life-threatening anemic condition that is aggravated by exposure to chemical stressors. The couple claim her reaction could be fatal once the process begins. The lawsuit also claims that temporary relocation of the couple is not an option because of the severity of her conditions and the living environment she requires. The couple is seeking a permanent injunction and damages of $25,000.
The developer denies allegations and claims the paving project will not be harmful to Cindi.
Following an initial hearing last year, the judge granted a preliminary injunction within a one mile radius of the Madej’s house.