Federal trial starts for Skanska in Pensacola

Northwest Florida

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — A federal trial started Monday in Pensacola to decide whether the construction contractor Skanska will be held liable for economic damages after its barges knocked out the Pensacola Bay Bridge during Hurricane Sally.

Nearly 1,000 business owners and commuters say Skanska’s negligence was responsible for a decrease in customers or a longer drive to work and they’re seeking compensation.

Skanska’s attorneys while in court Monday said the company had a plan for the barges but the impacts from Sally were were worse than they imagined after the storm turned toward Pensacola.

The claimant’s attorneys say Skanska waited too long to prepare, ignored warnings from the National Weather Service, and hurt the Pensacola and Gulf Breeze community with their alleged negligence.

The trial is expected to last for most of the week. At the end of the trial, a judge is expected to rule whether claimants can sue for both physical and economic damages.

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