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WTC lawsuit calms Amec frenzy
By Neil Hume, The Guardian, September 15, 2004

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 government.

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.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/story/0,3604,1304583,00.html

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