Citing “inflammatory” media coverage, a defendant in a lawsuit over the facade of Milwaukee City Hall is requesting the trial be moved west.
Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger Inc., a Massachusetts-based building engineer, has requested a change of venue from Milwaukee to Waukesha County.
Assistant City Attorney Miriam Horwitz said the city will oppose the motion.
Simpson, Humpertz & Heger is one of three “design defendants” in a lawsuit brought by the city of Milwaukee after the recently renovated City Hall facade showed signs of deterioration.
Representatives for Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger declined to comment on the motion.
According to court documents, news coverage from Milwaukee outlets has shown only the city’s side of the story.
“It is undisputable,” the motion reads, “that the City has tainted the Milwaukee County jury pool by deliberately introducing into the public domain its causation theories without consideration of alternative causes of distress.”
While people in Waukesha County may have read the news coverage, the motion reads, it does not have a direct impact on their tax dollars and makes them less likely to show bias.
The next motion hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 15 in Judge David Hansher’s court.