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Calif. judge finalizes decision not to reopen high-speed rail suit

(The following story by Bonnie Eslinger appeared on the San Jose Mercury News website on August 24, 2010.)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Sacramento Superior Court judge on Monday finalized his decision not to reopen a 2008 lawsuit Atherton, Menlo Park and other groups filed in the hopes of halting the state's $42.6 billion high-speed rail project.

Judge Michael Kenny added four sentences and made some minor tweaks to the wording of the tentative decision he reached last week.

Stuart Flashman, the plaintiffs' attorney, said Monday he did not expect his clients to file an appeal to the ruling.

In October 2009, Kenny decertified the California High-Speed Rail Authority's original environmental impact report but did not order work on the controversial project to stop. The agency released a new report on Friday to address concerns brought before the judge in 2009.

Atherton, Menlo Park and the other plaintiffs had argued that the lawsuit should proceed because studies they commissioned show the rail authority skewed ridership projections to justify running the high-speed, Los Angeles-to-San Francisco line through the Peninsula instead of the East Bay.

In its revised report, the rail authority stood by its ridership projections.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

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