Airport Authority and James Finch Lose in Jury Decision

After 3 weeks of testimony, the jury heard closing arguments and came to a decision today on a civil lawsuit today worth more than $8 million dollars. The Airport Authority and Phoenix Construction are suing Kellogg Brown and Root over damages and fines for a water filtration pond.

A Bay County jury turned down the airport's plea for $8 million in damages against Kellogg Brown and Root, and instead ordered the airport to pay the engineering firm $360,000 for work it had finished at the airport without being paid.

The airport had been joined in the civil suit by Phoenix Construction. Kellogg Brown and Root had been the construction management firm that oversaw construction of the airport.

Jurors heard nearly two weeks of testimony in the trial but deliberated for less than four hours before announcing their decision.

The airport had claimed KBR was responsible for drainage and stormwater run-ff problems at the airport site. Phoenix, which did the actual construction, blamed faulty engineering for the failure of the pond.

The airport and Phoeniz then sued KBR for more than $8 million, the cost of rebuilding the water filtration pond and paying fines levied by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

KBR had claimed the suit was baseless. Apparently, the jury agreed with KBR and determined it was not negligent and could not be held responsible for problems the airport faced with erosion control.

For now, The Airport and James Finch have not determined whether or not they will appeal.


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  • by JDPC Location: PC on May 17, 2012 at 02:59 PM
    Finch didn't "lose", the airport (taxpayers) lost. We may not like it but Finch and KBR outsmarted the local yokels. Now it's time to just move on and try to salvage ole swampy.
  • by Elrod Location: Lynn Haven on May 17, 2012 at 08:00 AM
    James Finch and the county go way back! The taxpayers always have to pay Finch for shady deals with local govt. James Finch is no fool!
  • by Brian Location: Panama City on May 16, 2012 at 11:51 PM
    So, the good ol' boys took a hit in court and turned out to be nothing but whiny losers. This airport deal has sucked from the very beginning, with the taxpayers taking it on the chin. Finch and his cohorts on the airport board and country commission belong in jail.
  • by Wayne Location: panama city fl on May 16, 2012 at 06:42 PM
    Typical airport Mgt. bad move after bad move. Ask the Saint Joe Co. to pay for the problems it caused or maybe Alan & Jerry could to pitch in! Everone knows they ramed it down our throats!
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