Judge orders mediation for Bull Moose Tube v. City of Gerald

Linda Trest

A hearing was held Monday, July 9, by the Honorable Gael D. Wood in a private conference room. 

The judge has been handling the case brought by Bull Moose Tube Co. (BMT) against the City of Gerald. 

Earlier this year, the city increased the rent BMT pays for its building on city-owned ground. At first, the two parties seemed to be working out an agreement on the increased rent. 

Then in late February, BMT abruptly filed suit against the city.

A flurry of motions have since been filed, while rumors abounded in Gerald that BMT was going to pull up stakes and leave town.

Observers were hopeful that Monday’s hearing would bring some resolution to the situation. 

Instead, Judge Wood, in a session that was said to have lasted around 35 minutes, ordered both sides to participate in mediation. 

An interested party waited in the courtroom during Monday’s hearing which was closed to the public.

They were told later that the judge ordered both sides to work to find a mediator in the St. Louis area on which they can agree by next Monday, July 16. If that agreement can not be made, the judge had an alternate plan. Each side will present him the name of three mediators and the judge will choose one of the six names presented. 

Some progress is being made on the case. One participant on a legal team reportedly told the interested party that he was hopeful the issue would be resolved by the year’s end. 

When both sides meet in mediation, the city will be expected to have representatives present. Even though decisions cannot be made without board approval, those representatives will be present to represent the city’s interests.