The man who launched a class action lawsuit against the City of Prince George last week alleging damages from fluoridated water says he has reached a settlement with the City of Cranbrook over a similar action.
A consent dismissal order was filed Friday at the B.C. Supreme Court’s Cranbrook registry ending the lawsuit Kevin Millership initiated against that city in July 2013.
“They offered me a number of things so I would drop my case and I agreed,” Millership said.
He declined to provide further detail other than that the City of Cranbrook has agreed to hold a referendum on the issue in November as part of the agreement.
“They want the settlement agreement to stay confidential for now,” Millership said Tuesday.
A referendum is also set for November in Prince George on whether to continue fluoridating the water.
Just five other B.C. communities still add fluoride to their water – Prince Rupert, Fort St. John, Sparwood and Terrace. Williams Lake ended the practice in 2011 as did Kamloops in 2001 following referendums.
Reached Tuesday, City of Cranbrook spokesman Chris Zettel said the matter remains confidential when asked why it was dismissed.
“We really can’t provide any further comments about the decision but what I can tell you is that coming up in November, as part of the municipal election, we will be conducting a referendum on the use of flouride in the municipal water supply,” Zettel said.
According to a Nov. 18, 2013 story in the Cranbrook Daily Townsman, the City of Cranbrook and Millership were in discussions towards a settlement. It also said Millership had asked to hold a referendum with a process of education and consultation leading up to the referendum.
Like he did in the Townsman story, Zettel declined Tuesday to say whether holding a referendum was part of a settlement between Millership and the City of Cranbrook.
The City of Cranbrook did file a response in October 2013 to Millership’s notice of civil claim. Although Millership’s claim was brought as a class action, the City of Cranbrook’s response referred almost exclusively to his failed attempt to seek personal compensation from the City of Kamloops for the mild dental fluorosis he suffers.
The B.C. Supreme Court Justice who heard the case found Millership proved causation between drinking that city’s fluoridated water and his condition but concluded it did not affect the function of his teeth and rejected a claim for psychological and emotional damage.
Millership’s claim against Kamloops was dismissed in 2003 following 21 days of court testimony and he was ordered to pay a portion of the costs.
The City of Cranbrook’s response also referred to Millership’s failed attempt to have the Federal Court of Canada subsequently rule in his favour. That court found Millership was seeking to re-litigate the issues he unsuccessfully raised at the B.C. Supreme Court level.
City of Prince George spokesman Mike Kellett repeated comments he gave last week when Millership’s lawsuit against this city was launched – that he cannot comment on the case while it is before the court and that there will be a referendum in November on whether to continue to fluoridate the water.