Sterling Heights Settles Claims

The city of Sterling Heights, Mich., recently settled with two insurance companies that refused to pay the city for a settlement with the Freedom Hill Amphitheatre.

The settlement was the result of a long, nasty dispute that, after a two-year court battle, ended with Sterling Heights owing shed operator Hillside Productions $31 million in settlement.

The city believes the insurance companies should cover the costs of the settlement. City officials have in turn sued three insurance carriers and reached settlement agreements equaling $18.75 million with two of them June 20th, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The city reportedly plans to go to trial with the third, the United National Insurance Company.

“Our discussions with the other party have not advanced very far,” John Ellison, an attorney representing the city, told the Press. “I think what we have been able to accomplish is a positive development for the city. Sometimes the court system isn’t as fast as you would like it to be, but in the end we think it is a fair settlement.”

Shed owners had accused the city of harassment, claiming it conspired to close down Freedom Hill. A federal judge agreed and awarded the owners a $260 million judgment in 2003.