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West Chester agrees to settle Wyeth Tract Sewer litigation

May 18, 2016 | Borough of West Chester

West Chester PA, -- The Council of the Borough of West Chester voted at its regular meeting to approve a settlement agreement with Pfizer, Inc. and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc., ending longstanding litigation over sewage treatment charges related to Wyeth’s former production plant.

"While the Borough has full faith in the merits of its claims against Pfizer/Wyeth, the settlement allows the Borough to finalize litigation that has gone in favor of each party at various points, leaving the likely results uncertain," stated Borough Council President Ellen Koopman. "The settlement resolves the litigation in a manner that protects the Borough’s financial interests and allows both the Borough and Pfizer/Wyeth to move forward."

The Borough obtained a favorable ruling from the Court of Common Pleas in 2014, requiring Pfizer to continue making payments to the Borough under the terms of a 1984 Agreement with Wyeth for the treatment of waste water generated at the property. The agreement also included fees related to the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of the Goose Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Pfizer appealed this ruling to the Commonwealth Court, and was successful in having the Common Pleas Court decision overturned.  The Commonwealth Court ruling found that the 1984 Agreement terminated in December 2011, and that Pfizer could be entitled to rebates related to the charges assessed by the Borough from 2006 to 2011. The Borough appealed that decision to the Supreme Court, and this Settlement removes the uncertainty for both parties which would arise from continuing the litigation before that Court.

The terms of the settlement follow:
>> The termination of the 1984 Agreement,
>> Mutual releases from any obligation, causes of action, and suits related to any matter arising out of sewer services provided by the Borough for the benefit of Pfizer/Wyeth, the 1984 Agreement, and the outstanding litigation.
>> The withdrawal of the Borough’s appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court of the Commonwealth Court’s ruling.  

For more information, contact:
Michael A. Cotter, Manager
Borough of West Chester
610-436-1353
macotter@west-chester.com

 
 

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