Tricare Lawsuit Still in Discovery Phase
No word yet on a trial date.
Denis Driscoll, the attorney for Chatham Borough in the ongoing lawsuit against Tricare Treatment Services, confirmed Monday the lawsuit is still in the discovery phase.
Depositions and other discoveries have been ongoing for over a year, since before Driscoll came on as the borough's attorney.
"We're going for a case management order soon before Judge [David] Rand," Driscoll said.
Several Chatham residents have given depositions in the case already.
Tricare, a gambling addiction treatment company, filed a lawsuit in state Superior Court in Morristown May 13, 2010 against the borough's Zoning Board of Adjustment, Planning Board, council and then-Mayor Nelson Vaughan.
The suit was filed after Tricare, which is owned by Michael Osborne, attempted to establish a gambling addiction treatment center at the Parrot Mill Inn. The borough's Zoning Officer, Vincent J. DeNave, said the gambling addiction facility represented a continued use of the Parrot Mill Inn since it would be used for lodging, and the Planning Board approved Tricare's application to change some of the bedrooms into offices in February 2010.
Residents reacted angrily, however, and eventually appealed DeNave's decision to the Zoning Board of Adjustment, which upheld the appeal at its March 24, 2010 meeting. The board said the gambling addiction facility was not similar enough to the bed-and-breakfast to allow it to exist inside the building without a variance.
The complaint alleged all parties acted unlawfully in a variety of ways, and that the Planning Board and the Board of Adjustment "violated principals [sic] of fundamental fairness." It also alleges the parties violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act, and demands judgment for damages and attorney's fees.
The courts later determined there were no grounds for Vaughan and the council to be named in the suit, and their names were dropped.