Fired Contractor Blamed In Courthouse Soaking

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A contractor fired at the federal courthouse in St. Louis a decade ago is blamed for installing a misaligned pipe that broke and flooded many floors.

But a General Services Administration official says there is no way to seek reimbursement from the contractor, Morse Diesel.

The pipe break in August spewed up to 8,000 gallons of water at the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse. Damage could reach millions of dollars.

Morse Diesel pleaded guilty in 2000 to a criminal charge and paid a $500,000 fine for submitting a false claim for reimbursement to the GSA. The government eventually recovered $19 million from the Morse parent company over allegations of fraud, false claims and kickbacks regarding the courthouse and three other GSA contracts.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

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