A Cook County Circuit Court judge has dismissed more than 20 lawsuits filed against Chicago after an underground flood in April.

Judge Donald J. O'Brien last week ruled the city is not liable for claims of economic loss from the flood, such as lost profits, wages, or losses from other business interruptions.

"It's an important victory for taxpayers," said Kelly R. Welsh, the city's corporation counsel. He added that the economic benefit of the decision has not been determined.

Bruce Goodhart, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs in the consolidated suits, said he intends to appeal the ruling.

O'Brien also dismissed most of the negligence suits against the city, Welsh said. The remainder of the suits will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, according to Welsh.

In April, a construction crew driving pylons into the Chicago River ruptured an underground tunnel wall, sending 250 million gallons of water into the tunnel system that connects numerous downtown buildings. Flooded basements in many buildings caused hundreds of businesses to shut down for weeks, prompting the lawsuits against the city.

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