Attorney Michael C. Donovan thought up a new legal strategy. He wrote and sponsored a local ordinance requiring insurers to pay for cleanup of perchloroethylene in the city’s groundwater.
Now, after the oridinance was ruled invalid, he is seeking fees. The city of Lodi has refused to pay and and has sued for legal malpractice. In Federal litigation, the city has recovered 7.5 million. The City Attorney Steve Schwabauer has been quoted as saying: “We never led Mr. Donovan to believe that somehow, after he’d been cheating us and defrauding us, we would turn around and pay him.”