Macomb Co., contractors settle lawsuit over Fraser sinkhole for $12.5M

Fraser — Macomb County will receive $12.5 million to settle a lawsuit it filed against contractors that caused a sewer collapse and football-field size sinkhole on Christmas Eve 2016.

Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller said Tuesday the insurance company for the three contractors sued by the county agreed to pay the settlement after about a week of mediation.

“I’m very proud to tell ratepayers … that we have come to a settlement agreement of $12.5 million,” she said during a morning news conference held near the site of the sinkhole that opened up on 15 Mile near Utica Road in Fraser. “That’s the biggest award that the Macomb County government has actually ever received in history. We’re feeling pretty good about the award.”

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Macomb County Public Works Commissioner announces Tuesday the contractors it sued over a sinkhole that appeared Dec. 24, 2016 on 15 Mile in Fraser have settled the matter for $12.5 million. (Photo: Charles E. Ramirez, The Detroit News)

Miller was joined by Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and her staff at the news conference. The site of the event was a vacant lot on Eberlein Drive where a house that was damaged by the sinkhole was later demolished.

“Candice was adamant about finding out what happened here and she never lost sight of that,” Hackel said. “And that’s why we’re here today. This is the largest award the county has ever received in any type of litigation. Candice, congratulations and well done to you and your staff.”

The money is being paid out by the Illinois Insurance Company,  part of New York-based insurance company AIG, she said. In exchange, the county’s lawsuit against the contractors in Macomb County Circuit Court will be dismissed.

The money will be used to help pay for a

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