Airport Settles Lawsuit with Phoenix Construction

By: Chad Mira
By: Chad Mira

Panama City - Part of the long legal dispute over cost overrun and environmental fines involving the new airport construction project has ended. But the case may not yet be over.

Phoenix Constructions owner James Finch and the Airport Authority agreed Thursday to drop their claims against each other. They also decided to join forces and seek damages from the project engineers, PBS&J AND KBR.

Phoenix construction owner James Finch Filed his lawsuit against The Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport Authority in December 2010. He claimed the airport and the project engineers were responsible for the problems that created the cost overruns and environmental fines and that the airport still owed him as much as $10 million. But through depositions and investigations, they claim they discovered the fault lies solely with the engineers.

When the initial sodding of the airport failed, the airport hired an outside company to re-sod. Phoenix claims that sub-contractor was not properly permitted. The work allegedly led to storm water run-off in nearby creeks. The Department of Environmental Protection hit the project with fines.

If the airport and Phoenix are successful in receiving damages, the attorneys will be paid first, Phoenix will get the first million dollars for withheld construction costs, and the rest of the damages will be split 50/50.


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