Racapping the Buck’s A&W Saga

Update: Dec. 18: Buck’s A&W is scheduled to reopen today. See below for video coverage of the Buck’s saga.

Original post:

“It’s been a roller coaster of emotion that’s indescribable.”

That’s how Rick Gehring, owner of Buck’s A&W described the past week in which parties to a lawsuit against Buck’s that was settled in 2007 reached an agreement on attorneys fees awarded to the plaintiffs. The agreement brings to a close (yes, really) litigation that has gone on since 2004, when the suit was filed.

Buck’s owners Rick and Karin Gehring were absolved from personal responsibility in the sexual harassment conviction of a former manager, James D. Border, but a Kitsap County jury penalized Buck’s of Port Orchard Inc. for sexual discrimination. In a later ruling, Judge Leonard Costello ordered the company to pay the plaintiffs’ “reasonable attorneys fees.” The settlement pertained to the amount of those fees, which was not disclosed by the family or attorneys representing Buck’s

The reason the story has gotten such attention is that Buck’s has a long history of community service, particularly in support of youth sports.

Story links recapping the sequence of events are listed below, along with the link to South Kitsap resident Ron Boehme’s blog, in which he compares Gehring to Jimmy Stewart in “It’s a Beautiful Life.”

“It is really over,” said Kim Zak of the Shiers Law Firm, Port Orchard, who represented Buck’s during the trial and who was involved in negotiations on the settlement agreement. “We’re just pleased we were able to get the matter solved for Buck’s A&W. It was in everyone’s best interests.”

Among those whose interests are served by the resolution of this case are the plaintiffs. They will not receive any monetary gain, as their attorneys took the case on contingency. The settlement pertains to fees owed to the attorneys. But at least now the two women who were Border’s victims can get some closure on the crimes of which he was convicted.

Jury Clears Owners in A&W Sex Harassment Trial, July 2007, Kitsap Sun

A Healthier Kitsap One Frosty Mug at a Time (on the Gehrings’ contributions to the community), July, 26, 2008, Kitsap Sun

Buck’s Owners Served with Legal Challenge (on the litigation leading up to Buck’s announcement of bankruptcy), Nov. 14, 2008, Kitsap Sun

Legal Costs Force Closure of Popular Port Orchard Restaurant, Dec. 8, 2008, Kitsap Sun

Customers Flood Bankrupt Bucks in its Last Days, Dec. 10, 2008, Kitsap Sun

Buck’s Legal Tangle Stems from State Anti-Discrimination Laws, Dec. 12, Kitsap Sun

South Kitsap Says a Sad Goodbye to Bucks, (on Buck’s history), Dec. 13, 2008, Kitsap Sun

Buck’s Finds the Miracle it Needed, (on the settlement), Dec. 16, 2008, Kitsap Sun.

Ron Boehme blog item

7 thoughts on “Racapping the Buck’s A&W Saga

  1. Karen: Don’t think Ron was trying to advertise anything except the story of Buck’s A&W. Youtube is free so Ron’s not getting anything.

    I wouldn’t have known about the video unless Ron had mentioned it. I watched it and almost cried! Thanks Ron!

  2. I hope all of you read the posts from one of the young women who brought the lawsuit. You Buck’s supporters may not be patting yourselves on the back quite so hard.

  3. I watched Ron tape and thought for a moment that he was from one of the Seattle TV stations we called dozens of times. He did a great job interviewing people. He captured the essence of the story. He filmed outside, from behind the counter, the customers, the owners, etc.

    It is great to have such a historic documentation of the amazing event of last weekend.

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