The lawsuit filed by Simply Structures against the Park Archons and the Department of Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations may “have legs,” according to Delwyn Terrier, founding partner of Terrier, Terrier, Wolfhound and Shepherd.
The suit was launched in November after the construction firm lost its bid to build the prognostication pad for the 2015 Groundhog Day celebrations. Simply Structures has supplied the materials, design, and construction of the pad for over ten years, but it lost the 2015 bid to Nesthetics, a relative newcomer.
At the time of the announcement in mid-October, the Department of Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations issued a brief statement in which it said it had been impressed by the Nesthetics bid and by the foresight the company had demonstrated with regard to the sturdiness of materials and design.
Among other things, Simply Structures alleges in its lawsuit that the words “sturdiness” and “foresight” are implied criticisms of their company in general and of the 2014 prognostication pad, in particular.
According to its representatives at the law firm founded by Ingmar Prärievarg, Simply Structures believes that it lost the 2015 bid due to the so-called “shadow controversy” of 2014. The controversy occurred when a group of spectators, frustrated by the prospect of having to endure another six weeks of Winter, claimed that the shadow the POPS saw was not her own, but one that appeared as a result of a fault in the prognostication pad.
Despite the fact that a team of shadow experts ruled that it was the POPS’s own shadow and no fault was ever found in the prognostication pad, the impression of liability has lingered. Now, the company is taking action against it.
“Negative impressions stick in our minds. They linger long after they’ve been disproven. That gives great power to innuendo and gossip. In this case, it’s a question of whether or not they can prove those words defame their company. If they can, that will go a long way toward effecting change with regard to how Park law deals with the issue of defamation,” says Terrier.
The case is scheduled to go to trial before Mr. Justice Augustus Dindon in late Spring.