1.689MM Verdict in First Skanska Damages Trial

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Pensacola law firms Levin Papantonio Rafferty (LPR) and Vernis & Bowling obtained a $1.689 million verdict in the first Skanska damages trial, DELUNA OYSTER COMPANY INC A FLORIDA FOR PROFIT CORPORATION vs. SKANSKA USA CIVIL SOUTHEAST INC. A FOREIGN PROFIT CORPORATION (2020 CA 001679). Plaintiff Travis Gill, the owner, operator, and sole employee of the oyster farm, claimed that a crop of 800,000 oysters was destroyed when two Skanska barges became unmoored in Pensacola Bay during Hurricane Sally in 2020.

The jury found that Skanska had to compensate Gill for $445,016 in property damages and $1,244,761 in lost revenue for 2020 and 2021.

“We are grateful for a jury that thoughtfully listened to the attorneys’ arguments and witnesses’ testimonies and carefully studied the evidence,” said LPR Attorney Brian Barr. This is how they were able to see through Skanska’s attempts to frame this hardworking, local businessman as a liar.”

Jeff Gill, an attorney at Vernis & Bowling law firm, is Travis Gill’s father. He and Barr both represented the plaintiff at trial. Gill spoke of his son’s response to the verdict.

“Travis is very grateful that today, for the first time, Skanska is held accountable for the destruction it caused thanks to a jury of Escambia County Citizens,” Gill said.

The DeLuna case was the first of hundreds of Skanska damages cases to be tried in civil court. The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals gave these cases the green light after rejecting Skanska’s ability to limit liability for damages under maritime law.

Attorneys at Levin Papantonio Rafferty; Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz; and Beggs & Lane have been working together to champion the rights of businesses and commuters harmed by the Pensacola Bay Bridge outage, which lasted 8 months.

“We joined forces in the Skanska litigation for the sake of the community. We are unified by a single mission–to hold Skanska accountable for causing widespread destruction in the lives of local business owners and residents,” said LPR Attorney Brian Barr.