Pair Who Landed Plane Near Ryder Cup Reach Settlement in Lawsuit

Pair Who Landed Plane Near Ryder Cup Reach Settlement in Lawsuit Photo: KSTP/File

September 05, 2018 09:36 AM

The two men who filed a lawsuit after being charged for landing a float plane on a lake near the Ryder Cup in 2016 have reached a settlement with the City of Chaska and police chief Scott Knight.

Charges were later dismissed against Dean Scott Johnson and James R. Render, the pilot and passenger in the plane.

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In their lawsuit, they claimed they were not aware of any restrictions on the lake, and that their rights were violated. They claimed the incident caused them embarrassment and emotional distress and were seeking $225,000.

Court documents show a settlement was reached Tuesday, though terms of the settlement were not released.

"Mr. Johnson and Mr. Render agreed to settle their case because it was never about the money," their attorney Dan Rasmus said via email. "They brought the civil rights lawsuit to establish they were fully compliant with all aviation rules and regulations when they landed the float plane on Lake Hazeltine during the 2016 Ryder Cup. They believe the settlement vindicates their actions."

A lawyer representing the city of Chaska issued a statement once the settlement was finalized. 

"The City of Chaska and the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust reached a settlement with Plaintiffs Dean Johnson and James Render. Although Plaintiffs were seeking $225,000 plus costs and attorneys' fees, they agreed to accept $15,000 for full and final settlement of all their claims," attorney Jason Hiveley said in a statement. "There was no admission of liability and the City maintains its handling of this incident was lawful and proper. Given the costs the City would have incurred completing discovery and moving for a dismissal of this case, resolving this matter for $15,000 was a good risk management decision that brought finality to this case and was in the best interests of all parties involved."

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Frank Rajkowski

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