Today could be the day the firms responsible for managing and designing Boston’s Big Dig will reach a settlement with Boston authorities. The settlement is said to be about $450 million.
The settlement is part of several legal battles over the Big Dig project, which not only claimed the life of a 38-year-old woman in 2006 when a portion of the ceiling collapsed and crushed the car she was driving in, but is also facing more flaws in design with constant leaking within the project’s tunnels.
According to the Boston Globe, the settlement would allow authorities to seek additional damages from Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff if the project has a major failure in the future. The “major failure” is defined as any incident which causes more than $50 million in damages, according to a source quoted by Globe reporters. The article also says “the consortium’s liability would be capped at $100 million in any future failure, and an arbitrator would have to determine that the consortium was at fault.”
In late August, a federal judge accepted a guilty plea from Aggregate Industries NE Inc. for supplying 5,700 truckloads of substandard concrete used in Boston’s Big Dig project. The pleacame as part of a settlement in a fraud case that will cost the company $50 million.
In September, employees from Powers Fasteners, the company indicted last month on one count of involuntary manslaughter in last summer’s Big Dig tunnel ceiling collapse, appeared in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston and pled not guilty to the charges. The Brewster, NY-based company provided the epoxy used to secure the bolts to suspend the tunnel roof ceiling. Powers Fasteners is the only company to be charged in connection with the death of a 39-year-old woman when a portion of a ceiling collapsed inside a Big Dig tunnel, killing her when the car in which she was a passenger was crushed. Her husband survived. Under current Massachusetts law, the maximum penalty Powers Fasteners could face if convicted is a fine of $1,000.
Several companies faced indictment for their role in the July 2006 Boston Big Dig tunnel collapse that killed a 38-year-old woman when the car she was riding in was crushed by falling ceiling panels.