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CA Contractor must pay 4 “intangible environmental harm”

CB&I Constructors were working on private property in the Angeles National Forest and spark a fire that ultimately burned 18,000 acres.  CB&I Constructors was water tanks on the private property, the employee were promised a bonus if they completed the project ahead of schedule, so they worked during extreme heat and ignored fire hazards.  This negligence lead to the fire which ultimately cost the government $7.6 million to put out.  The other $28.8 million was awarded to the government for “intangible environmental harm” which is to be used to help the area recover from the fire.   Researchers estimate that it will take at least 20 years for the forest area to recover from the fire, the money is meant to help speed up the process if possible.  Even though this is an unusual case, it’s important for all construction companies to be aware of the precedence this case sets for future rulings.   As this was a private project, it is very unlikely that the job was bonded.  If it had been bonded perhaps the government would have gone after the penal sum of the bond saying that the contract stipulates the contractor cannot be negligent and must follow the regulations of their industry. Click here for the full article.

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