PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Several law firms have filed a joint motion in court dismissing Skanska’s federal court filings that attempted to immunize itself from responsibility for the damage to the Pensacola Bay Bridge.
Skanska is hoping to be exonerated and not pay any money. The company is facing more than 100 lawsuits filed by drivers and business owners on both sides of the bay.
“Skanska failed to follow their own Hurricane Preparedness Workplan,” Sam Geisler said. “I mean, that’s as red-handed as you get.”
Geisler is with Alystock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz PLLC, which is one of many law firms fighting Skanksa in court. Others are Levin Papantonio Rafferty, Beggs & Lane and Zarzaur Law. They are trying to dismiss Skanska’s recent federal court filings as the company tries to get the court to absolve it of all liability.
Skanska wants the federal courts to find them immune from all accountability under maritime law. Attorneys on the other side are arguing maritime law does not apply to bridge builders like Skanska.
The bridge closure has caused businesses to lose money and close their doors on both sides of the bridge. Business owners are upset to learn Skanska is trying to not be held liable.
“I think it is completely ridiculous that they would think they could go before the courts and ask for any kind of special treatment,” said Anmarie Wright, manager at Gulf Breeze Bait & Tackle. “Any kinds of caps on liability is ridiculous. I don’t have a choice of how much money do I want to lose. We lost it. It wasn’t an option for us. It wasn’t an option for any of these businesses.”
The Pensacola Bay Bridge will reopen the week of March 22 with some restrictions. It will fully reopen by Memorial Day, according to FDOT.