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Prior settlement bars second lawsuit after construction accident

New Berlin-based Arby Construction Inc. does not have to reimburse Wisconsin Public Service Corp., a gas and electric utility, for payments WPSC made after a 2006 construction accident, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

Arby employees were working under a WPSC contract in July 2006 when they struck a gas line and caused an explosion, resulting in several injuries and two deaths. After the accident, the injured parties sued Arby, WPSC and WPSC’s insurer, Associated Electric & Gas Services Limited.

In that case, AEGIS asserted as a defense that Arby and its insurers were obligated by contract to reimburse them for any liability it has. But the courts never decided that issue, and the lawsuit settled with all the defendants paying something to the injured plaintiffs.

AEGIS and WPSC then sued Arby to recover the money they paid in the settlement, but the Brown County Circuit Court dismissed the case.

— David Ziemer

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