Sealed settlement ends civil trial between Horizon owners, Park Cattle

An undisclosed settlement between Horizon owner Wimar Tahoe Corp. and Park Cattle Co. ended a eight-week civil trial Wednesday.

The settlement between the owners of the land the Horizon occupies and the owners of the hotel casino was sealed by District Judge Dave Gamble.

Gamble told attorneys the nine-week case was the longest he'd had in his 21 years on the bench and 31 years of legal practice.

"This has been a long trial, but good one," Gamble said.

Gamble told the nine jurors that both parties in the lawsuit over upkeep of the Horizon and the lease agreement between the casino and Park Cattle Co. had tried to reach a conclusion before the trial.

"If you had not been the way your are, if you had not been paying attention the way you did, this case would not be settled," Gamble said. "I want to say how much I appreciate your service."

Both Park attorney William R. Warne and Wimar Tahoe attorney Kirk Lenhard thanked the jury and spoke to them after they were dismissed.

"You all have been incredibly attentive," Lenhard said.

Park Cattle Chairman of the Board Craig F. Sullivan greeted jurors as they left the courtroom.

He said the company is pleased with the outcome of the trial.

"We are particularly pleased for the employees and guests of the Horizon and for the community of South Lake Tahoe," he said. "Park Cattle will be taking a far more active role in the community. This is just the end of the beginning."

After the jury was dismissed, Lenhard of the Las Vegas law firm of Jones Vargas said it would not be appropriate for him to comment on the outcome.

Warne said he and Park Cattle appreciated the work of the jury, the court and its staff.

"Park Cattle is pleased with the settlement," he said. "We believe the trial ended on terms that were just and fair."

The jury was seated Feb. 11 and the trial was anticipated to last seven weeks.

The defense was still presenting its case when a breakthrough resulted in a settlement on Tuesday night.

Gamble determined that sealing the settlement would not adversely affect public safety. He ruled that the seal would protect the proprietary interests of the two parties.

The lawsuit was filed Nov. 8, 2005, by Wimar Tahoe in response to a series of letters threatening eviction from the Park property.

Park expressed concerns about the upkeep of the property and Wimar sued to prevent any proceedings that would remove them. Park countersued Wimar.


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