Oceano businessman vows to appeal flood lawsuit



A South County nursery owner has lost the first phase of his lawsuit against various government agencies over flooding that allegedly forced him to close his business. He intends to appeal.

Bill Bookout, owner of the Oceano Nursery located off Highway 1 in Oceano, sued the county, Caltrans, Union Pacific Railroad, the Pismo Beach Vegetable Exchange, and the Oceano Community Services District, of which he is a board member, alleging the agencies failed to adequately protect his business from a series of floods that caused him hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. Judge Martin Tangeman ruled that a part of Bookout’s case was barred by statute of limitations, a decision Bookout intends to appeal.

“The county withheld critical documents during the discovery process that would have strengthened my case and saved me a lot of money,” said Bookout.

Bookout’s remaining claims for nuisance, trespass, negligence, and dangerous conditions against the agencies are still being pursued, according to his attorney, John Belsher. Bookout, who already settled with Pismo Beach Vegetable Exchange for $225,000, will find out if and when a jury will hear his case on Sept. 22.

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