The federal appeals court in New Orleans on Nov. 25 dismissed class-action lawsuits for Hurricane Katrina-related damages against 32 major dredging contractors. Two groups of plaintiffs sued companies that worked under federal contracts in the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), claiming that work damaged protected wetlands and caused an amplification of the storm surge in the New Orleans region during the 2005 hurricane. The 5th U.S. Court of Appeal Circuit in Ackerson v. Bean Dredging LLC, upholding a federal district court’s ruling, applied the principal that public-works contractors duly carrying out projects authorized by Congress have immunity from lawsuits for
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.