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Engineering mistake leads to lawsuit in Montana


The county commission in Missoula, Montana, as well as three local environmental groups recently filed a lawsuit against the state's Department of Transportation, the Billings Gazette reports.

The DoT had originally been hired to analyze the state's bridges to confirm the amount of weight they can support. However, one of the aforementioned groups analyzed the work done by the Montana and Idaho's transportation departments. In all, Idaho's engineers surveyed and analyzed 14 truck size and weight configurations for the bridges, while engineers Montana only examined on one.

"This is a serious issue facing Montana," Zack Porter, campaign coordinator of environmental group All Against the Haul, told the news source.

The case is more significant as Imperial Oil and ExxonMobil have a project in place that aims to move many large 200 oil field modules through Montana and Idaho into Alberta. Thus, the structural analysis was needed to ensure the project could be completed..

The plaintiffs in the court case are now waiting for a ruling from District Judge Ray Dayton on whether the preliminary injunction will be granted to halt the construction involved with the project.

The case highlights the need for companies and departments to have proper business insurance in case lawsuits arise over potential engineering errors. 

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