Trinity Industries, Inc. v. McKinnon Bridge Co., Inc.

Trinity Industries, Inc. v. McKinnon Bridge Co., Inc.
An uncompleted highway bridge over the Tennessee River collapsed, triggering a lengthy and convoluted course of litigation between the parties involved in its construction. Litigation began when the company that fabricated the bridge's structural steel components sued the general contractor for non-payment on the contract. The general contractor filed a counter-claim which alleged that the fabricator had breached the contract by producing defective steel components that caused the collapse. The contractor named some of its other subcontractors as third party defendants, claiming that they also bore some responsibility for the collapse of the bridge. In a series of orders, the trial court dismissed the counterclaim and third party claims, and declared that its judgments were final for purposes of Tenn. R. Civ. P. Rule 54.02. After this court heard oral argument on the first of the Rule 54.02 appeals, but before it could issue an opinion, the trial court conducted a hearing on the merits of the steel fabricator's claim, and rendered a judgment in its favor. We affirm the judgment for the price of the steel and the judgment for the fabricator on the general contractor's counterclaim. We reverse the judgment dismissing the third party claims.
Authoring Judge: 
Judge Ben H. Cantrell
Originating Judge: 
Carol L. Mccoy
Date Filed: 
Wednesday, November 28, 2001