US contractor Frank Coluccio Construction and German manufacturer Herrenknecht have jointly announced the settlement of their dispute over the operation of a Herrenknecht tunnelling machine used by the contractor on two projects in the State of Washington last year.

The American subsidiary of Herrenknecht had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings following Coluccio’s $5.8M claim against the manufacturer, alleging that the machine was defective (T&TI, Feb 2001).

Although no details of the settlement were given, the agreement allowed for the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding to be dismissed and for the subsidiary to resume the sale of tunnelling machines in North America.

Joe Coluccio, vice-president of the contractor, said: “Herrenknecht is one of the industry leaders in the manufacture of tunnelling machines, so it is gratifying to be able to reach this amicable agreement. We wish them well in the future.”

Dr Martin Herrenknecht, the company founder, said: “It is very important to me and to the company that the industry realises that Herrenknecht will stand behind its machines and that if full information is available on soil conditions, Herrenknecht machines are the best in the business.”

He added: “I look forward to vigorous competition in the North American market, which I feel is just coming into its own.”