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Charleston Sanitary Board awarded $2.6M from engineering company


The Charleston Sanitary Board will receive more than $2.6 million from O'Brien & Gere Engineers following a yard waste and sewage lawsuit, The Charleston Gazette reports.

According to the news source, O'Brien & Gere had built a faulty composting facility which the city had wanted to sell compost generated by it. The lawsuit, filed in 1998, claims the facility never worked properly. Kanawha Circuit judge Pal Zakaib Jr. awarded Charleston Sanitary Board $1.57 million in damages and $1.06 million in interest.

Zakaib wrote in a statement that the city was dealt an undersized composting plant.

"[The plant] could not make compost until the Board spent hundreds of thousands of dollars pre-treating the discharges of the West Virginia American Water Company to remove inert solids," Zakaib said. "Nothing was done to insure that the factory personnel operated the equipment in the same manner as Board employees would have to operate the equipment."

Zakaib found O'Brien & Gere guilty of professional negligence for failure to conduct its basic duties, which a company can be insured for under professional liability insurance.

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