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Farm Credit Services Loses Round In Court

The Washington state Supreme Court has struck down an appeal by Farm Credit Services in Spokane to overturn a jury’s decision that the agricultural bank pay $4.89 million in lost revenue and debt forgiveness to an elderly Franklin County couple.

Late last month, the court unanimously upheld a 1992 jury award and ruling that a branch of the bank had reneged on a loan made 16 years ago to farmers Barbara and Lyle MacHugh of Eltopia, Wash.

Farm Credit in 1979 had agreed to finance the MacHugh’s 200-acre evergreen nursery, but later forced the couple into debt and foreclosed on the property, the jury found.

The MacHughs, who were represented by the Spokane law firm of Winston & Cashatt, plan to pick up the check today, the law firm said.

Meanwhile, their evergreen nursery has turned into a 30-foot high forest as they waited for years to resolve the dispute.

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