You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Agreement reached in smokestack demolition suit

A dispute over who had to pay for damages when a 275-foot tower fell the wrong way during a 2010 Mad River Power Plant demolition project has been resolved.

The trial involving FirstEnergy and the demolition contractors accused of negligence in the botched demolition of the closed power plant’s chimney stack was slated to begin Monday, but representatives from the energy company said an agreement in principle over the damages had been reached.

The settlement is still in the preliminary stages, so details have not been finalized and information is confidential, said Stephanie Walton, communications representative for FirstEnergy.

FirstEnergy, and its sister company Ohio Edison, first filed a lawsuit in November of 2012, two years after the 275-foot smokestack tumbled the wrong direction during its demolition by explosives, falling onto two turbine generators used by the energy company. The lawsuit claimed the damage amounted to more than $19 million in losses.

Advanced Explosives Demolition Inc., Bet-Tech Construction Co. and Independence Excavating Inc. were involved in the project and were named in the suit. AED was accused in the suit of negligence, as well as other claims. Bet-Tech and Independence were accused of violating contract and liability claims.

In papers filed in late January, the group of demolition contractors asked the Clark County Common Pleas Court for a continuation of the case, claiming the trial date was “very ambitious in light of the amount of work needed to prepare for trial if the mediation was unsuccessful,” according to the filed motion.

FirstEnergy responded, stating the case had been filed more than a year and the plaintiff wanted a trial date no later than June 2014. In the middle of February, Judge Douglas Rastatter overruled the defense’s motion — meaning the trial would remain scheduled for Monday.

The disputing sides had been unable to come to an agreement on the actual damage costs caused by the botched project, but Wednesday afternoon FirstEnergy said the agreement had been reached.

The suit filed in the common pleas court details what FirstEnergy says led the 275-foot smokestack to fall the wrong way, pointing to a failure to cut a rebar and the way explosives were used.

“Contrary to established industry practice, (Advanced Explosives Demolition) failed to cut the rebar on the rear of the stack,” according to the complaint.

The defense claimed FirstEnergy did not inform AED “of the true condition and repair history of the chimney stack, as it was necessary to properly perform the demolition.”

Debris piles from the accident are still visible on the property more than three years later.

The owner and president of Advanced Explosives Demolition Inc., Lisa Kelly, did not return calls for a comment on agreement by newspaper deadline.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in News

Another juror in Cosby case opens up about deliberations
Another juror in Cosby case opens up about deliberations

Another juror in the Bill Cosby sexual-assault case is talking about the deliberations. "I flip-flopped back and forth plenty of times," said Robert Dugan, the first non-alternate juror to show his face. Dugan said he believed Cosby was guilty after Cosby's 2005 deposition was read in court. He said that he couldn't get past the fact that...
COMMENTARY by Clarence Page: What ‘tone down the rhetoric” really means

You hear a lot of people in political conversations these days talking about the need to “tone down the rhetoric,” although it is not always clear what they mean. The expression took on a new urgency, if not full clarity, after the horrible baseball field shooting that left Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, and four...
TODAY’S MODERATOR: Get ready for pizza by robot

That sound you heard a few days ago was the future arriving at your front door. Our staff writer Lynn Hulsey reported last week: “If things pan out the pizza dude bringing you your hot slices could be a compact little robot that looks pretty much like a cooler on wheels. PERSPECTIVE: When comedy meets politics, things can happen “The Ohio...
OPINION from Jonah Goldberg: Free speech isn’t always a tool of virtue

There’s a tension so deep in how we think about free expression, it should rightly be called a paradox. On the one hand, regardless of ideology, artists and writers almost unanimously insist that they do what they do to change minds. But the same artistes, auteurs and opiners recoil in horror when anyone suggests that they might be responsible...
Powdered drywall mistaken for cocaine lands innocent man behind bars for 90 days
Powdered drywall mistaken for cocaine lands innocent man behind bars for 90 days

Karlos Cashe thought he was facing a minor traffic ticket when he was pulled over by police in Oviedo, Florida, in March for driving without headlights. When an officer saw white powder on his seat and floorboard, though, the situation became much more serious. Cashe was on probation at the time on marijuana and cocaine charges from 2015. He...
More Stories