Following Ruling, City of Claremont Ends Eminent Domain Dispute with Analysis Group Client Golden State Water

November 21, 2017

In the follow-up to the first eminent domain case involving an investor-owned water utility tried in the State of California, the City of Claremont ended its efforts to take ownership of the municipal water utility operated by Analysis Group's client Golden State Water Company, a private investor. The City originally had brought suit against Golden State, arguing that customers would benefit from municipal ownership of the water system.

An Analysis Group team led by Principal David Sosa and including Manager Tracy Danner supported affiliated experts Dr. Michael Hanemann and Mr. Stephen Peters in developing testimony and analysis on behalf of Golden State Water, and provided consulting support to Golden State's counsel, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. At the conclusion of the trial, Judge Richard Fruin blocked the takeover, concluding that Golden State had demonstrated Claremont residents would be better served and would enjoy lower water rates if the company continued to own and operate the system. He also awarded fees and costs to Golden State.

After filing an appeal, the City approached Golden State with a settlement offer. Ultimately, the City of Claremont forged a new 12-year agreement with Golden State to operate the water system, including facing financial consequences if it attempted to take the system during the course of the agreement.