OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The City of Ocean Springs could end up paying more than $1 million for a decision some members of the board of aldermen made back in 2011 to deny a mental health clinic's request to open on Iberville Drive.
Psycamore LLC., the company that wanted to open the clinic, filed suit last week seeking $750,000 in damages.
Marble springs LLC. has filed a separate suit against the city for $405,000 in damages. That company owned the property that the clinic was supposed to be set up on.
Four of the five members of the board voted against allowing the clinic to open after public outcry from a citizens group called Friends of Iberville Drive. According to the United States Department of Justice, that group went so far as to hand out flyers featuring images from the film "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" to dissuade people from supporting the clinic.
Last month, a report by the DOJ said the actions of the board constituted a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The department ordered a number of remedies, including hiring a full time ADA compliance officer and paying for damages to the effected parties. That would include Psycamore LLC. and Marble Springs LLC.
Attorneys for both companies tell us this suit is just a precaution in case there is an issue in the negotiations with the DOJ over damages. If those negotiations go well, the suits will be dropped.