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WTC lawsuit calms
By Neil Hume, The Guardian, September
The share price of Amec, the construction company which has recently been the subject of
frenzied takeover talk, came off the boil yesterday after it was named in a multibillion
dollar lawsuit launched by workers involved in the clean-up of the World Trade Centre.
The suit, which was filed in a US federal court on Friday, alleges that Amec and three
other construction companies brought in by the US government to clear 1.5m tonnes of
debris from the site in Manhattan did little to protect workers from airborne dust,
asbestos and other toxins.
It is seeking compensation for injured workers in addition to a system to track the health
of everyone who worked at the site for the next 20 years.
A spokesman for Amec said the firm had yet to receive the claim, but added that the
company was confident it was covered by a specific insurance policy set up by the US
This is believed to cover claims of up to $1bn (£550m) and was put in place before the
clear-up operation got under way to cover future compensation claims from workers.
Analysts said news of the lawsuit would probably put paid to the takeover speculation.
"Who is going to bid with this hanging over the company," one said.
That did not prevent City speculators from buying more Amec stock towards the close of
business yesterday. The gossip in the Square Mile is that US rival Fluor has requested
meetings with two of Amec's biggest shareholders, Toscafund and Fidelity, on Friday to see
if they would be prepared to back a 400p-a-share bid.
Amec closed the day 14p lower at 307p.
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