Utah County officials say they likely will file a motion for the judge to amend a verdict handed down earlier this week by a 4th District jury that awarded $94,000 to a company that claimed it was not paid for its role in the county buying a dredge in 1985.
Milt Jones and Milt Hanks, of Shoreline Development, were seeking between $250,000 and $600,000 because they said they spent a year and a half trying to bring an Army surplus dredge from Portland, Ore., to the county to dredge Utah Lake.The two said the county promised to let them operate the dredge and give them salvage rights. Pumps for the dredge were brought to the county, but the ship remained in Oregon and was eventually scrapped for $25,000.
The jury awarded the $94,000 on an unjust-enrichment motion, saying that even though there was no contract signed or implied, the county benefited from services provided by the plaintiffs. Earlier, 4th District Judge George E. Ballif dismissed the plaintiffs' claim of having an implied contract.
Deputy county attorney Jeril Wilson said the verdict is more than what the county believes it owes, but less than what the plaintiffs wanted in a pretrial settlement.
"If the jury feels that the award is appropriate then that's the way our system works," Wilson said.
Wilson said the case is being evaluated and the county is looking at possible options. He said right now the county is leaning toward filing a motion for the judge to set aside the jury's verdict and award a lesser amount.