Rochester, MN (KROC AM News)  - A three year legal battle between the city of Rochester and the former provider of public transit services in the city isn’t over yet.

The Minnesota Supreme Court has overturned an appellate court ruling that essentially dismissed a lawsuit filed by Rochester City Lines after it lost its contract with the city in 2012.

The only issue to be decided was whether the selection process that led to the new contract was proper. The Supreme Court has ruled Rochester City Lines did present sufficient evidence to raise questions about whether the process was fair and unbiased. Because of that, the case has been sent back to Olmsted County Judge Joseph Chase for a possible trial on that issue. Chase has presided over the lawsuit since it was filed.

Chief Justice Lori Gildea disagreed with the majority opinion, writing that RCL did not prove that the selection process was prejudiced. She noted that RCL had the lowest score of the four bidders. She added, “ It is frankly unclear what the district court should do differently on remand; the record is already developed, and there is no disputed evidence to weigh. “

The city had contracted with RCL for more than 30 years until it was told by the federal government in 2011 to seek bids for the service. Most of the money to pay for the service comes from federal and state government sources.

So far, the city’s legal expenses in the case are around $1 million.  Although insurance will cover a large part of the bill, the city’s share had risen to $400,000 when the case went to the Supreme Court.

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