County Expands Lawsuit Related to “Debris Incident” at Government Plaza

By WBNG News

County Expands Lawsuit Related to “Debris Incident” at Government Plaza

July 22, 2010 Updated Feb 2, 2010 at 3:46 PM EDT

County Expands Lawsuit Related to “Debris Incident” at Government Plaza

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Barbara Fiala, County Executive, today announced the filing of two new lawsuits related to the dust infiltration last year in the County Office Building.

In 2008 a renovation project began on the underground garage. Pursuant to the Tri-Partite Agreement*, the State of New York managed that project and hired the contractor Crane-Hogan Structural Systems, Inc to do the renovation work.

On April 14, 2009, significant construction dust from the project infiltrated the County Office Building. Broome County immediately conducted environmental tests of the dust. As a result of those tests, the County was required to close the building and relocate all workers. Thereafter, it immediately commenced cleanup activities.

All actions taken by the County were done in conjunction with State Officials at the Office of General Services (OGS).

According to Executive Fiala and Broome County Attorney Joseph Sluzar, Broome County should not be responsible for any of these damages. It neither hired the contractor not managed the project. Broome County has demanded that the State compensate the County for its damage.

On or about June 12, 2009 the County filed a Notice of Intention to file a claim against the State. Thereafter on or about September 10, 2009 the County filed an actual claim against the State in the New York State Court of Claims. This matter is pending.

“After consultation with the County Attorney’s Office, I have directed the commencement of two additional lawsuits - one against the County’s insurance carrier, Traveler’s Insurance and another against the Contractor that was doing the construction work in the garage - Crane-Hogan Structural Systems, Inc.,” said County Executive Fiala. “I am not satisfied with the progress of negotiations with the State and its insurance carriers. I want us to do everything possible to move this matter forward.”

A Summons and Complaint in both lawsuits was filed on this date in the Broome County Clerks Office.

*The State of New York, Broome County and the City of Binghamton own and operate the Government Plaza Complex in Binghamton, New York. That complex houses State, City and County workers in three separate buildings. It also has a vast underground parking garage. The State, County and City have executed a Tri-Partite Agreement to manage the Government Plaza.

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