Central Electric Company of Pella will pay the City of Pella nearly $800,000 in damages for breach of contract regarding the installation of underwater lights at the Pella Aquatic Center where two boys from Kansas City recently drowned. That was the verdict handed down Wednesday afternoon at the Marion County Courthouse in Knoxville.
Attorney Robert M. Benton – who represented the City along with Pella City Attorney Bob Stuyvesant – tells KNIA/KRLS News that the City was awarded $600,000 in actual damages and an additional $188,000 in punitive damages. Benton adds that the City was seeking between $650,000 and $700,000 in actual damages and was leaving the punitive damages award to the discretion of the jury. Pella Mayor Darrell Dobernecker says that while he regrets that the case had to go to trial, he is pleased with the outcome.
The verdict ends a long-running civil suit between the City of Pella and Central Electric Company, which is owned by Vince Blom. The lawsuit was filed in October of 2006 after it was discovered that Central Electric had failed to install multiple electric components as specified in a contract for the construction of the Pella Aquatic Center.