- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The state has received more than $12 million to settle a lawsuit over the construction of the University of Connecticut School of Law library in Hartford, the university announced Wednesday.

The state received the check Tuesday as part of a mediated settlement with all the defendants, each of whom contributed varying amounts, the school said.

The case had been scheduled to go to trial next year, but the state withdrew its lawsuit Wednesday in Waterbury Superior Court.

Twenty-eight construction firms, architects, designers, inspectors and others were sued by the state in 2008 after water leaks, mold and major construction flaws were found in the $24 million Thomas J. Meskill Library building on the school’s Hartford campus.

An independent architectural firm discovered shoddy workmanship that left the building’s signature granite facade so vulnerable it could blow off in a heavy windstorm. The facade eventually had to be removed and reattached after its anchors began to loosen.

Raymond Garcia, a New Haven lawyer who represented Hartford-based Lombardo Mason Contractors, one of the contractors on the project, said the settlement forbids him from commenting. He had argued that work on the building had been approved each day by the architect, construction manager and representatives of both the university and the state Department of Public Works.

“At its dedication in 1996, my predecessor Dean Hugh Macgill described our law library as ‘a building that only a tyrant need fear,’” Timothy Fisher, the law school dean, said in a statement. “How ironic, however, that hidden defects actually rendered the building unsafe to its very users.”

While in private practice, Fisher was hired as the primary attorney representing the state in the litigation. He joined UConn last year as its dean.

The settlement ends litigation that also included a precedent-setting 2012 state Supreme Court ruling that found the normal statute of limitations did not apply in the case because the state was suing to recoup on behalf of its taxpayers.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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