Plaintiffs’ Attorneys Plan to Appeal Court Dismissal of Skanska Claims

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Today, Pensacola-based law firms Levin Papantonio Rafferty; Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz; and Beggs & Lane issued the following statement regarding yesterday’s court decision granting Skanska’s Motion to Dismiss:

“Late Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the Escambia County Circuit Court dismissed the claims of hundreds of regional businesses, wage earners, and municipalities when it granted Skanska’s Motion to Dismiss based on a near-century old maritime case. The court’s decision means unless the unsecured barges actually hit your property, Skanska gets off the hook no matter how badly it messed up by not securing the barges during Hurricane Sally or how much money Skanska caused our local businesses to lose.

“A federal court here in Pensacola already determined that Skanska negligently caused the release of 27 building-size barges across the Bay. That ruling was upheld by the federal court of appeals. However, the three-judge panel of local state court judges accepted Skanska’s argument based on a 100-year-old loophole instead of following maritime law that permits the application of state court law to these local cases.

“We intend to appeal this disappointing decision and continue the fight on behalf of our community and its businesses to right this obvious wrong.”

Attorneys at Levin Papantonio Rafferty; Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz; and Beggs & Lane have been championing the rights of businesses and commuters harmed after a breakaway of Skanska barges in Pensacola Bay during Hurricane Sally resulted in the Pensacola Bay Bridge’s outage.