Agreement reached in smokestack demolition suit
A dispute over who had to pay for damages when a 275-foot tower fell the wrong way during a 2011 Mad River Power Plant demolition project has been resolved.
The trial involving FirstEnergy and the demolition contractors accused of negligence in the botched demolition of the closed power plant’s chimney stack was slated to begin Monday, but representatives from the energy company said an agreement in principle over the damages had been reached.
The settlement is still in the preliminary stages, so details have not been finalized and information is confidential, said Stephanie Walton, communications representative for FirstEnergy.
FirstEnergy, and its sister company Ohio Edison, first filed a lawsuit in November of 2013, two years after the 275-foot smokestack tumbled the wrong direction during its demolition by explosives, falling onto two turbine generators used by the energy company. The lawsuit claimed the damage amounted to more than $19 million in losses.
Advanced Explosives Demolition Inc., Bet-Tech Construction Co. and Independence Excavating Inc. were involved in the project and were named in the suit. AED was accused in the suit of negligence, as well as other claims. Bet-Tech and Independence were accused of violating contract and liability claims.
The suit filed in the common pleas court details what FirstEnergy says led the 275-foot smokestack to fall the wrong way, pointing to a failure to cut a rebar and the way explosives were used.
“Contrary to established industry practice, (Advanced Explosives Demolition) failed to cut the rebar on the rear of the stack,” according to the complaint.
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