Bill Bookout, owner of the former Oceano Nursery, recently lost his lawsuit on appeal against a half-dozen government agencies over annual flooding on Highway 1 in Oceano.
Bookout, it seems, lost because he didn’t sue early enough. The California 2nd District Court of Appeals on June 28 upheld an earlier SLO County Superior Court decision that Bookout missed the three-year statute of limitations when he filed his lawsuit in 2006, but had made the first complaint to officials in 2002. The appellate court also did not identify any party as responsible for the flooding issues.
Bookout, however, remains determined.
“I’m planning—no, I’m not planning—I am going get this to the California Supreme Court,” he said.
The appellate court overturned Bookout’s appeal and awarded costs to the defendants: Caltrans, SLO County, Union Pacific Railroad, the Pismo Oceano Vegetable Exchange, and the Oceano Community Services District.
The Oceano Nursery has been closed since early 2008 due to the flooding Bookout has long blamed on Caltrans crews, which he claims shovel debris into a nearby drainage channel and clog a drainage pipe.
“I was shocked,” Bookout said of the decision. “This is not what I was expecting, and I’m going to fight it to the California Supreme Court. And I’m going public with it, more than I have before.”