Mediation ordered in chairlift vandalism lawsuit

SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) - A northern Idaho judge has ordered mediation ahead of a potential trial involving a lawsuit filed by Schweitzer Mountain Resort against a man the resort says slashed chairlift seat covers.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports that Judge Barbara Buchanan ordered the mediation Wednesday between the resort and David Donald Markwardt.

If mediation fails, a trial is set to start July 28.

Schweitzer filed the lawsuit last spring contending Markwardt slashed more than 60 seat covers dating back to the 2011 season.

Criminal charges against the 63-year-old retired physician were dismissed in September after a judge ruled the state didn't prove the damages exceeded $1,000.

The state can file the charge of vandalism at the felony level again, but hasn't so far.

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Information from: Bonner County (Idaho) Daily Bee