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Amherst settles long legal fight over dividing $3 million fund

The Town of Amherst has concluded a legal struggle that began 17 years ago when a contractor was badly injured in Amherst State Park.

Peter Bissell of Sanborn fell and broke his neck while inspecting a roof leak at St. Mary of the Angels Motherhouse in 2002.

Bissell was awarded $19.6 million, but the town paid $23.4 million including interest. The town’s carrier, Granite State Insurance Company, covered $10 million and the town borrowed $13.4 million to pay the rest.

The roofer’s carrier, the New York State Insurance Fund, in 2013 agreed to pay $31 million. Granite, a subsidiary of AIG, recouped its $10 million and the town received $17.8 million, including more than $4 million in interest from the yearslong court fight.

Still at issue was the last $3.13 million in interest.

Amherst rejected an arbitration panel's attempt to resolve the case in January. State Supreme Court Justice Timothy J. Walker guided the sides to settle, with Amherst accepting $2 million and Granite accepting $1.1 million. The Town Board approved the agreement Monday.

Arbitration decision ending lengthy Amherst legal fight over $3 million


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