Dinn, Hochman & Potter, LLC

Contract disputes with city prompt filing of lawsuit

Like everywhere else in the country, Cleveland relies on private contractors for many of its projects. In many cases, everything goes according to plan, but in others, contract disputes arise. If the city and the contractor are unable to come to an agreement outside the courts, a lawsuit could result.

This is what recently happened in a city in another state. A construction company hired to perform construction on the city's airport filed a lawsuit alleging breach of contract. As is the case in many disputes, money lies at the center of the controversy.

The construction company was hired by the city of Wichita Falls, Texas in June 2015. The contract stipulated that the work would be completed within 242 days. As often happens in construction projects, delays occurred that forced the company to miss this deadline. The company claims that the delays were out of its control, and argues that the city should continue to pay them.

Instead, the city began fining the company $1,000 per day in May 2016. The fines were deducted from the payments required under the contract. The contract did include the ability to extend the deadline, but the company says the city refused to do so. When negotiations with the city failed, the company filed its breach of contract lawsuit.

As would be the case in a similar situation here in Cleveland, the court will determine whether a breach occurred. When contract disputes cannot be settled between the parties, involving the courts can sometimes reopen dialogue between the parties. If that does not happen, both sides should be prepared to argue their positions in court.

Source: timesrecordnews.com, "Construction company suing city for breach of contract", Clair Kowalick, May 10, 2017

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