Settlement talks underway regarding Roderick Ireland Courthouse mold situation

This according to court documents sent to Western Mass News Monday afternoon by a spokesperson for the MA Trial Court.
Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 4:17 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 25, 2022 at 7:22 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - We’re following breaking news out of Springfield. Settlement talks have lead to a postponement of Wednesday’s hearing in Boston regarding the Roderick Ireland Courthouse.

This according to court documents sent to Western Mass News Monday afternoon by a spokesperson for the MA Trial Court.

A trial is now scheduled for next Tuesday.

According to a motion filed Monday, state officials say the Trial Court and attorneys for courthouse employees were granted a delay in the hearing by 1 week.

There have been mold concerns in the courthouse which came to light last summer, when the building was shut down for 2 weeks. Recently attorneys for Courthouse employees released an independent study showing cancer-causing mold in the building.

Jennifer Donahue, with the MA Trial Court, telling Western Mass News that the Justice Spina, who is the Special Master presiding over this matter, allowed the filing of the joint motion today which sought to delay the hearing.

“The parties have filed a joint motion for a one-week continuance of the trial, which was allowed by Justice Spina, who is the Special Master presiding over this matter,” noted Donahue.

The motion states there was a “lengthy” meeting on Friday, April 22nd between the two sides where they agreed in principal to the outline of a settlement.

According to the motion, the settlement agreement would include remediation and deep cleaning of the Courthouse to address factors that may be negatively impacting the indoor environmental quality. This while allowing the Courthouse building to remain open and administer justice for the people of Hampden County.

This according to court documents sent to Western Mass News Monday afternoon by a spokesperson for the MA Trial Court.

We spoke just minutes ago with one of those attorneys, Jeffrey Morneau, who provided some insight into the settlement talks.

“We do have an agreement in principle that we’ve worked on extensively over a period of months, negotiations, spent a lot of time on Friday and over the weekend, and this morning making sure that we were in agreement in principle,” Morneau explained to Western Mass News.

When we asked Morneau on his thoughts if they can come to a settlement with the Trial Court he said, “We’re obviously optimistic based on those extensive discussions and negotiations that we do have an agreement in principle. And we’re optimistic that we’ll be able to get it all in writing.”

Again, a trial is now scheduled for next Tuesday, May 3rd as both sides try to come to a written settlement.

Western Mass News is continuing to follow this story closely. Stay with us online and on-air for the latest.