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Lawsuit Over Reno Project

Landscape Architect April Phillips is suing the company designing a public plaza in Reno, Nevada. Ms. Phillips wants the U.S. District Court to prevent the city and it's architecture firm--Sheehan-Van Woert-Bigotti, Architects--from using the landscape designs she says she owns and has copyrighted. The architecture firm says that Phillips was not the only contributor to the designs she copyrighted, since they were renderings of designs that were produced in collaboration with three or four firms. The Reno architectural firm hired Phillips to do the landscape design, but continued negotiating their financial agreement. Even though her normal fees and expenses for the design should have been $430,000, Phillips said she agreed to $280,000 plus expenses. She pulled out of the project in February over money issues, telling SVWB they could not use her copyrighted designs. The $4-million project, a public plaza at the site of the former Mapes Hotel on the Truckee River, is scheduled to begin in November, however this lawsuit may cause delays. Ms. Phillips is also suing the city of Reno, claiming they are actively using her designs or designs based on her work. The city is protected against financial penalties by its contract with SVWB, but despite that there may still be delays.

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August 23, 2019, 1:42 pm PDT

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