Dinn, Hochman & Potter, LLC

Contract disputes over computer installation nets $2.6 million

Contracts are often a part of doing business in Ohio. Employers and employees sign employment contracts; businesses and vendors also sign contracts. These documents are typically effective in ensuring that each party understands and adheres to the terms of their agreement. However, there are times when disagreements arise and contract disputes occur.

In 2013, a state college system signed a contract with a computer technology company. The premise of the contract was that the technology company would install a new computer system at community colleges throughout the state. In addition to the installation, the contract called for the technology company to train the state college users.

Problems began to arise at two of the installation locations. These problems resulted in problems with class enrollment, financial aid and payroll. As the problems began to become apparent, the anticipated schedule fell further and further behind.

In an effort to enforce the terms of the contract, the state board associated with the colleges decided to withhold payments, stating that the contract had been violated. The technology company, in terms, sued the state for payment. This contract dispute has recently been resolved with neither party admitting liability; however, the state did pay a $2.6 million settlement to the technology company.

Contract disputes often arise when the terms of the contract are unclear or when the quality of the work performed is questioned. While many Ohio contract issues can be clarified without court involvement, it is often in each company's best interest to work with experienced legal counsel when developing contracts and deciding if one has been violated. If the contract dispute is a serious one, it may be beneficial to present the case before an Ohio court.

Source: spokesman.com, "State paid $2.6 million to settle dispute over community college computer system", Jim Camden, Nov. 5, 2017

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