St. Louis Metro Settles For $6 Million

     CLAYTON, Mo. – An embarrassing chapter in St. Louis’ top transit agency’s history ended with a saving of face. Metro, which unsuccessfully sued designers of its MetroLink extension, reached a $6 million settlement with the design firms Tuesday in St. Louis County Court.

     The agreement includes the $2.56 million judgment a jury awarded the designers in November and saves Metro from reimbursing tens of millions of dollars in legal fees incurred by the defendants, who sought $27 million in defense fees. The settlement also relieves the design companies the risk of losing an appeal.
     Metro told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that it had incurred $21.4 million in trial-related costs through Dec. 31. Metro sued the designers, seeking $81 million in damages from delays and cost overruns. The trial went from August to November, making it the longest civil trial in St. Louis County history.
     On Nov. 30, a jury ruled against Metro, ruling in favor of the designers for $2.56 million. Metro President Larry Salci resigned and Metro’s top attorney was fired in the wake of the verdict.
     St. Louis County leaders also pulled a half-cent transit sales tax increase off the February ballot, citing the court loss.

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