By Cindi Andrews
Enquirer staff writer
The Hamilton County commissioners unanimously agreed Wednesday to accept $14.25 million to close the books on cost overruns during construction of 4-year-old Paul Brown Stadium.
The settlement will be paid by Design Professionals Insurance Co., partially compensating the county for the stadium's coming in $51 million over budget. The money comes from a $15 million insurance policy the county bought for $592,000 to cover the stadium design team.
The county previously blamed the architect for making hundreds of mid-construction design changes that pushed Paul Brown Stadium's final cost to $451 million. Wednesday's settlement, however, ends the threat of litigation without pointing fingers.
"Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Bengals, won design and business awards and opened on time in August of 2000, but the cost of the stadium exceeded the county's original budget," the county and the insurance company said in a joint statement.
The agreement ends any county claims against those involved with the football stadium's design: NBBJ Architecture, Turner Construction Co., Flack+Kurtz Consulting Engineers Inc., Getz Ventures LLC and Ove Arup & Partners.
It also justifies the county's hiring of Indianapolis law firm Ice Miller to recoup the overrun costs, commissioners said.
The county has paid Ice Miller more than $1.3 million, and it also was obligated to pay up to $250,000 for NBBJ's legal fees.
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