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Council approves Milwaukee City Hall facade settlement

By: Beth Kevit, [email protected]//January 22, 2014//

Council approves Milwaukee City Hall facade settlement

By: Beth Kevit, [email protected]//January 22, 2014//

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A settlement proposal that would end Milwaukee’s litigation over its crumbling City Hall facade is awaiting the mayor’s signature.

The city sued the general contractor and a list of others in 2012 over the failing facade after a piece of terra cotta fell off the building. The city settled with Janesville-based general contractor J.P. Cullen & Sons Inc. in August, but members of the design team declined a similar offer.

Now the city is proposing a $7,995,000 settlement with Milwaukee-based Bloom Cos. LLC, which provided construction oversight on the project; Milwaukee-based architect Engberg Anderson Inc.; Waltham, Mass.-based structural engineering firm Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger Inc.; and each company’s insurers, according to a letter attributed to City Attorney Grant Langley.

The Common Council approved the settlement 14-1 on Wednesday. Alderman Joe Davis Sr. voted against the proposal.

The nearly $8 million settlement would be used to pay for discounted repairs stipulated in the Cullen settlement, according to the letter. Cullen is doing the repairs for $6.7 million, less than half of the project’s estimated cost.

Unless the settlement is approved, the city’s lawsuit will move forward in Milwaukee County Circuit Court. A pre-trial conference is scheduled for December.

The city is alleging Engberg Anderson breached its contract, according to court documents, and that all three contractors were professionally negligent.

The contractors continue to deny wrongdoing, and SGH has filed a cross-claim against Bloom Cos.


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