Last settlement reached in Big Dig suits

John O'Brien Mar. 26, 2009, 1:20pm


BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said Thursday that all civil litigation regarding a fatality caused by the Big Dig construction project has been wrapped up.

The litigation concluded with a settlement between the Commonwealth and Gannett Fleming, the designer of a section of tunnel on Interstate 90 that collapsed and killed 38-year-old Milena Del Valle in 2006. Coakley said the litigation resulted in the recovery of more than $600 million.

Coakley also reached a $200,000 agreement with Sika Corp., which manufactured that epoxy glue used on the part of the tunnel that collapsed. Gannett is paying nearly $2 million.

"Since taking office two years ago, it has been one of my priorities to resolve all matters related to the Big Dig ceiling collapse in a manner that was fair and just for the Commonwealth, and for the loved ones of Milena Del Valle who so tragically lost her life almost three years ago," Coakley said.

"The resolutions we have reached with the various companies involved in the project appropriately hold accountable those responsible for the problems in our tunnels, ensure that similar problems will be prevented in the future, and provide the Commonwealth with the necessary funds to maintain the tunnels and other transportation infrastructure in the years ahead."

Those settlements include $458.2 million from Bechtel/Parsons Brinkerhoff and other contractors for alleged various design errors and problems, $58.5 from American International Group for recovery of alleged Workers' Compensation insurance overcharges and $16 million from Powers Fasteners to resolve criminal and civil claims.

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