AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) –  The city of Amarillo has come to a settlement agreement with one of the entities involved in a lawsuit that began in 2017 regarding improvements to the city’s sewer system.

The Amarillo City Council unanimously approved a measure during Tuesday’s meeting to approve a settlement agreement and release with Mission Clay Products, LLC. According to the settlement, the details of which are laid out in a council’s agenda transmittal memo that accompanied the meeting’s agenda, Mission Clay Products LLC has agreed to pay $11.1 million to the city “to settle disputed claims alleged in the aforementioned cause.” 

This comes after the city of Amarillo filed a lawsuit in 2017 in the 108th Judicial District Court of Potter County against Mission Clay Products, Brandt Engineers Group, LTD and L.A. Fuller & Sons Construction, LTD. 

According to an amended petition by the city of Amarillo, filed in June 2022, the city of Amarillo contracted with the companies to install a “gravity-fed, vitrified-clay pipe” manufactured by Mission Clay Products. The construction of this project began in 2006 and 2007 at unspecified locations throughout the city. 

Officials said in the documents that the pipe experienced “deterioration, delamination, cracks, fractures and other structural failures at various locations.” City of Amarillo officials said in the documents that investigations showed that there were numerous defects in the quality of the pipe and in its installation, including that the pipe itself was defective. 

Officials said the status of the materials resulted in “sewer collapses, blockages, leaks and injury to other property,” according to the documents. Through its investigation, the city found that Mission Clay Products included an additive called “Wollastonite” in pipes manufactured between 2005 and 2009, an additive “which has led to pipe failures throughout the county.” 

The documents said that the company had knowledge of this additive, withholding this knowledge from the city of Amarillo at that time. 

“MCP’s conscious indifference to the rights, safety and welfare of the city and its citizens prevented the city from implementing far less expensive repairs to the pipe that could have prevented many of the damages alleged in this lawsuit,” the documents read. “The premature deterioration of the vitrified-clay pipe has resulted in the failure of the sewer system itself along with separate property damage to the City of Amarillo.” 

The lawsuit lists various claims against the companies involved in the lawsuit including breaches of contract, negligence and breach of warranty. Against Mission Clay Products, in particular, the city of Amarillo said that the company violated product liability because the company is liable for the manufacture, the sufficiency and the provision of the clay pipe. 

According to the documents, the city said that the pipe, manufactured by Mission Clay Products, “was defective and unreasonably dangerous, resulting in the structural failure of the project and causing damage to the City of Amarillo’s other property.” 

According to the documents, the city looked for damages for the repair and the replacement of the damage from the impacted property from where the pipes were installed. Because of the cited “gross negligence” of Mission Clay Products, the city also said in the documents that they were “entitled to recovery of exemplary damages.” 

Officials with the city of Amarillo did not provide any comment on this settlement after Tuesday’s meeting of the City Council. 

This is a developing story. MyHighPlains.com will update this article as new information becomes available.

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