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Gannett Fleming settles Big Dig case with Mass. AG

Gannett Fleming Inc. agreed to a $1.7 million settlement in
a lawsuit the Massachusetts attorney general
brought over the fatal collapse of a tunnel ceiling the Cumberland County
engineering firm helped to design.

Gannett Fleming Inc. agreed to a $1.7 million settlement in
a lawsuit the Massachusetts attorney general
brought over the fatal collapse of a tunnel ceiling the Cumberland County
engineering firm helped to design.

The attorney general investigated Gannett Fleming and
several other companies after the 2006 accident on the “Big Dig” construction
project in Boston.
Others have paid more than $450 million combined to settle claims related to
the ceiling collapse and other construction problems.

Gannett Fleming will pay about $1.5 million into an
infrastructure fund, forgo $150,000 in payments from the Massachusetts Turnpike
Authority and pay $50,000 to the city of Boston, Massachusetts Attorney General
Martha Coakley
announced yesterday. The engineering firm also agreed to send a
warning to clients for whom it may have designed a system similar to the one
that held the faulty ceiling, according to Coakley.

Lawyers for the family of the accident victim, Milena Del
Valle, in October reported their own settlement with Gannett Fleming.

In a written statement, Gannett Fleming said it was pleased to
have reached the latest agreement.

“While this settlement brings to a close the investigation
and litigation that arose from the accident that took the life of Milena Del
Valle, we remain deeply saddened by the tragic loss,” the firm said.

“We are working with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to
educate the engineering and construction community about the need for regular
and periodic inspections of adhesive anchors in tension,” Gannett Fleming
wrote, referring to the design in question.

The East Pennsboro Township company has about 1,000 local
full-time employees and reported 2008 revenue of about $259 million.

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