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Federal judge could decide damages in Patrick Cudahy plant fire next year

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Patrick Cudahy fire

MADISON — A federal judge in Milwaukee could decide early next year how much the government owes companies who insured a suburban Milwaukee meatpacking plant that caught fire more than six years ago.

The Patrick Cudahy plant in Cudahy caught fire in 2009 after two brothers fired a military flare that landed on the roof. One of the brothers stole the flare from a Marine base.

Patrick Cudahy’s parent company reached a $208 million settlement with its insurance carriers in 2011. The insurers sued the U.S. government that same year, alleging the Navy failed to control its ordnance. They want $187.7 million.

Judge Rudolph Randa wrapped up a six-day bench trial Monday. He plans to collect briefs from the parties over the next two-and-a-half months. A decision could come after that.

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