Irvine, CA Attorney Gregory G. Brown Obtains $4,800,000 Post Trial Settlement in Contract Dispute Involving South Orange County Wastewater Treatment Plant

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Brown & Charbonneau, LLP Founding Attorney and Certified Specialist in Civil Trial Advocacy Gregory G. Brown secures a $4,800,000 settlement following a multi-million-dollar trial victory on behalf of plaintiffs South Orange County Water District and its affiliates.

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Board Certified Trial Specialist Gregory G. Brown of Brown & Charbonneau, LLP

This is obviously a huge victory for Joint Powers Authorities in California who rely upon their partners to uphold their contractual commitments and agreements.

Trial Lawyer Gregory G. Brown, Founding Partner of Irvine, CA based Brown & Charbonneau, LLP, obtained a $4,800,000 settlement following a multi-million-dollar trial win on behalf of plaintiffs South Orange County Water Authority (SOCWA) and its affiliates, which include City of Laguna Beach, South Coast Water District, Emerald Bay Service District. The settlement also provided for the payment by defendant Moulton Niguel Water District (MNWD) of $2,700,000 in attorneys’ fees and a permanent injunction prohibiting the wrongful conduct in the future. The case was also featured in the LA Times and the Laguna Beach Independent.

The complaint, filed in Riverside Superior Court on May 30, 2017, arose after MNWD stopped paying its invoices for capital improvement for the Coastal Water Treatment Plant (CTP), a regional wastewater treatment facility. MNWD argued that while it had anticipated the use of the plant, no need ever arose, therefore they were no longer required to pay for the capital maintenance and repair of the facility. The dispute began in the summer of 2016, case no.30-2017-00923143, when MNWD’s actions began to threaten the safety of the facility.

“This is obviously a huge victory for Joint Powers Authorities in California who rely upon their partners to uphold their contractual commitments and agreements,” said Brown. “But it’s much more than that. This isn’t just a win for the plaintiffs, but for all of South Orange County, as this victory guarantees the safety and quality of water for the whole community.”

After a month long trial, Riverside Superior Court Judge Randell Stamen ruled, “MNWD is legally obligated to pay its proportional share of all costs, including capital costs and items, necessary to operate and maintain the Coastal Treatment Plant until February 19, 2030, or until the fifty-year term is rescinded or modified.”

The trial win and settlement “is a clear win for our residents, the environment, ocean water quality and the sanctity of contracts between partners,” Michael Dunbar, General Manager of the Emerald Bay Service District, said in a statement.

“The settlement allows those involved with the CTP to continue operations in a safe and efficient manner, while at the same time ensuring the protection of South Oranges County’s environment, water, and beaches,” said Brown.

Brown & Charbonneau, LLP is one of Irvine’s top-rated business litigation and trial law firms. Brown & Charbonneau, LLP has been named one of Best Lawyers’ “Top Law Firms.” Gregory G. Brown maintains the highest possible AV-Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, and has been named a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers® for the past ten years. He is “Superb 10.0” rated by Avvo. Brown is a California State Bar Certified Trial Specialist and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Brown & Charbonneau, LLP focuses its practice on complex business disputes, including contract actions, fraud cases, trade secret litigation, trust litigation, commercial contract disputes, intellectual property disputes, unfair competition, false advertising, shareholder derivative actions, corporate litigation, complex dissolution actions, real estate & construction, and professional liability suits. Visit

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