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Why lawsuit against Gainesville over rainwater was dismissed
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Jack Waldrip sued the city of Gainesville over stormwater runoff that has allegedly damaged his Washington Corner Shopping Center on Washington Street in Gainesville. - photo by Scott Rogers

A judge in U.S. District Court on April 27 granted the city of Gainesville’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging stormwater flooding of a Gainesville shopping center, according to court documents.

Jack Waldrip, who owns Washington Corner LLC and the shopping center on Washington Street, filed a civil complaint Dec. 7 alleging that the city’s stormwater on Rainey Street would erode the soil off the hill behind the shopping center and flood his property.

The city of Gainesville filed a motion to dismiss Jan. 19 claiming that Waldrip had previously filed a suit seeking damages in Hall County Superior Court in 2014 and that the case has already been adjudicated.

“Here, the doctrines of claim and issue preclusion apply … and plaintiffs’ complaint should be dismissed because of the fully litigated state court lawsuit,” the motion to dismiss stated.

Waldrip, through his attorney Robert Jackson, claimed in response to the motion that the issues and cause of action are not identical to the 2014 case.

“None of these issues have been adjudicated because plaintiffs’ federal taking cause of action was never litigated,” the plaintiffs’ response states. “There is no final judgment on the merits of the plaintiffs’ federal taking claim.”

U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones ruled that both cases rely on the same alleged actions by the city.

Jackson did not return multiple calls for comment.

“The city is pleased with the court’s motion to dismiss and is glad to be able to move on from this,” Gainesville City Manager Bryan Lackey wrote in an email.

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