Appeals Court Allows Suit Against Firm In Flood Deaths

Dec 12, 2016



In this Aug. 19, 2011 file photo, workers clear vehicles from the scene of a flash flood caused by heavy rains that killed a 45-year-old woman, her 8-year-old and 12-year-old daughters and a 72-year-old woman along Washington Boulevard in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said this summer that the city would take over inspections and maintenance of a $450,000 gate system intended to prevent vehicles from entering the road during flooding.
Credit Don Wright / AP

An appeals court has cleared the way for refiling of a lawsuit against an engineering firm in the deaths of four people killed in flash flooding in Pittsburgh more than five years ago.

A judge earlier dismissed claims against Chester Engineers Inc., which acted as the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority's consulting engineer and construction manager.

Plaintiffs' attorneys argued that the firm should have warned about the danger before the August 2011 flood. The state Superior Court said Friday that the attorneys should have been allowed to amend their suit to address the judge's concerns.

The city and its water and sewer authority, along with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and county sanitary authority, earlier settled legal action.

PennDOT has since installed gates to keep traffic out during heavy rain.