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Tampa Bay Water ordered to pay engineering firm $20M over reservoir suit


By Craig Pittman

The company that designed Tampa Bay Water's cracked reservoir deserves $9.2 million in attorneys' fees and $10.8 million in expenses for defending itself against the utility's unsuccessful lawsuit, the federal judge overseeing the case has ruled.

Even U.S. District Judge James Whittemore called the fees "extraordinary," but explained in his 38-page ruling, "This was no ordinary engineering malpractice case."

In fact, he noted in his Nov. 2 ruling, some testimony suggested it might be "the largest engineering professional liability case, in terms of damages sought, ever tried to a jury." The utility's board has already voted to appeal the ruling.

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