The Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce is apparently free of the restraints on its time and finances from the two lawsuits that local tree carver David Roy and creator of "Harmony," the town monument, filed.
Chamber President Chris Titus confirmed Roy signed the release of the second suit on Monday, March 11. The first suit was dismissed in January and the second was filed shortly after. Superior Court records show the dismissal was filed on Friday, March 15.
Titus said Roy attached no conditions to the release. This time the release was granted “with prejudice,” meaning the Roy cannot file another suit against the Chamber on the same cause of action and set of facts.
Almost immediately after Roy accepted the Chamber carving commission, disagreements arose between him and the Chamber over aspects of the contract and the process. Roy claimed the Chamber had reneged on a promise to supply a useable tree for the carving and that was the chief cause of delay. The Chamber contract contained no agreement to supply a tree for carving and previous boards disputed Roy’s claim. Roy claimed the agreement to supply a useful and appropriate tree was verbal. Those disagreements served to delay delivery of the carving by almost four years.
Roy contended in the lawsuits he filed in late 2012 and early 2013 that the Chamber had verbally agreed to pay him to refurbish the monument in July, 2012. The Chamber disputed that allegation but indicated a willingness to sit down with Roy to discuss his claim. That discussion never occurred.
The Chamber’s answer to Roy’s claim, upon which the dismissal was based, contended the lawsuit was “frivolous and in bad faith,” and that any purported damages, which Roy may have sustained, were “the result of negligence, recklessness, fraud, carelessness or disregard of this Plaintiff [Roy] in his actions or business affairs.”
It now appears the legal battle is over. Chamber directors would only comment that their lawyer reached an agreement with Roy to drop the suit that contained no promises from the Chamber to Roy about the monument, its ownership, the July refurbishment or any other related set of facts.
Titus also confirmed, as part of the agreement to dismiss, Roy acknowledged the Chamber’s ownership of the carving. Titus said, “We are all glad it [Roy’s suit] is behind us.”