Negligence Shared In Lawsuit On Franklin’s Damaged Treatment Plant

April 22, 2013
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There was no immediate word as to whether the city of Franklin would attempt an appeals process following a decision by a Venango County jury on Friday regarding flood damage to the city’s wastewater treatment plant in August, 2006.

Jurors decided that both the city and utility company Penelec bore negligence in restoration work that followed a flood ten years earlier, and that the 2006 damage was caused by a “force of nature.”

The city had filed a civil lawsuit against Penelec, claiming the washout of a Penelec-owned culvert resulted in the damage.  The plaintiffs had claimed that the utility designed and constructed the culvert to basically the same specifications as the culvert washed out in the 1996 flood.

Penelec officials had countered that they had built the culvert to meet the specifications set by Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection.  Jurors said they believed the damage would have occurred regardless of changes made.

The city had been seeking nearly $700,000 in damages.

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