$7.75 Million Settlement for Tunnel Flooding
Eric F. Eisenberg
The Construction and Public Contracts Group recovered $7.75 Million on behalf of a general contractor as a result of a series of floods which occurred during the construction of a multi-lane submerged interstate highway tunnel in Boston’s Fort Point Channel. The tunnel, which was constructed using a combination of immersed tube tunnel units and “in the wet” tunnel closures, was part of Boston’s “Big Dig” project. The flood claims presented complex questions of construction, engineering and insurance coverage law. The Builder’s Risk insurance carriers mounted a hard fought defense of these claims over the course of five years, during which time the parties engaged in extensive, detailed discovery and argued numerous dispositive motions. Key to achieving the successful result was the Group’s presentation and cross-examination of expert witnesses on issues of geotechnical engineering, methods of underwater construction and cost accounting/auditing. The case settled on the first day of trial after numerous pretrial motions had been heard and decided. Partner Eric Eisenberg and Senior Associate Erin Boucher – both of whom specialize in complex engineering and insurance claims — handled the case from inception to completion. Group Chairman Joel Lewin was also instrumental in achieving this successful outcome.
The Fort Point Channel recovery highlights the Group’s substantial expertise in handling insurance claims for its clients. Over the past five years, the Group has recovered tens of millions of dollars on dozens of insurance claims brought by its clients. While this particular case involved a Builder’s Risk insurance policy, the Group has also handled numerous firstparty and third-party claims under many types of policies, including first-party property policies, comprehensive general liability (CGL) policies, comprehensive pollution and professional liability (CPPL) policies, errors and omissions (E&O) policies and worker’s compensation insurance policies.