Spurned developer discontinues 1 of 2 lawsuits, clearing Druh Farrell to seek re-election
Calgary politician is being sued by the Terrigno family, who were seeking to have her removed from office
The threat of being legally barred from running in the October election no longer looms over Druh Farrell, after one of two lawsuits faced by the incumbent Calgary politician was discontinued Friday.
"It was a claim that said that I should be unable to run for office, and that is now not on my shoulders," said Farrell after the hearing. "Today it was a good day, and awarding costs was a good day."
But the Terrigno family — high-profile restaurateurs and developers who allege Farrell used her position to kill a 10-storey tower they wanted to build — is also claiming victory.
"My clients are very pleased with the result," said Terrigno family lawyer Christopher Souster. "They look forward to continue with their lawsuit."
The Terrignos owned a high-end Kensington restaurant, Osteria de Medici — now called Osteria Chef's Table — which is less than 100 metres from Farrell's home in Hillhurst. Their conflicts with the Ward 7 councillor date back to 2008.
The family filed two lawsuits against Farrell; one in May and one earlier this month. On Friday, the action seeking to prevent Farrell from running in the election was discontinued with the Terrignos' consent, and the two pending lawsuits were essentially combined.
In May, the Terrigno family filed their first lawsuit against Farrell, seeking her removal from office and more than $200,000 in damages.
In September, a second lawsuit was filed seeking to stop Farrell from running in the election, and from using the city's indemnity fund to pay her legal costs.
Terrignos use 'court as a weapon': Farrell
Farrell filed an application earlier this week in an effort to have the second lawsuit tossed out, arguing the Terrignos' lawsuits are frivolous and without merit. Instead of quashing the suit, the parties agreed that Rocco Terrigno, the family's patriarch, will be added to the first lawsuit as a plaintiff and that they won't seek to prevent Farrell from running in the election.
The family has also indicated it intends to apply to make amendments to the first statement of claim, which would lump in much of what was in the second lawsuit, including a court order that Farrell be prevented from accessing the city's indemnity fund to pay her legal costs.
Farrell accused the Terrignos of "using the court as a weapon" against those who opposed, or didn't adequately support, their development.
Court of Queen's Bench Justice Jolaine Antonio ordered the Terrigno plaintiffs to pay $200 in costs to Farrell.
None of the allegations contained in any of the lawsuits or applications has been proven in court.
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