Government Contract Disputes

Wrongful Termination

We successfully negotiated settlements on behalf of the Illinois Capital Development Board, the construction management agency for construction and renovation of Illinois state government buildings and facilities, with contractors arising out of construction work performed at Illinois correctional facilities. The contractors alleged that the Illinois Capital Development Board wrongfully terminated the contractors after partially completing the construction of the correctional facilities. In resolving the disputes for our client, we asserted that the Illinois Capital Development Board had terminated the contractors for convenience, using the Federal Acquisition Regulation on termination for convenience to support our arguments. As a result, the parties were able to settle the lawsuits filed by the contractors.

Defective Work

We were asked by a developer/contractor client to resolve a dispute and help close out the construction of a multi-unit public housing development in the City of Chicago. After a series of intense negotiations, we developed a joint remediation plan that required the collaboration and participation of all interested parties. As a result, the residents dismissed their lawsuits and all parties worked together to remedy the alleged defects.

We represented a developer in its high-profile dispute with the CTA regarding payment for the infrastructure work for the CTA to open an express train station with high-speed service to Midway and O’Hare airports.   We successfully negotiated a settlement agreement with the CTA.

We represented the largest manufacturer of pre-insulated piping systems in North America, in its dispute with the Ohio State University, among other parties, regarding the cause of a failed steam pipe suspended under the Woody Hayes Bridge after one year of operation.

Our lawyers represented the manufacturer and supplier of double walled fuel containment pipe in a dispute with a mechanical contractor over alleged leaks in the pipe   installed at an air national guard base in Mississippi. The case was litigated in federal court in Mississippi and it involved depositions of contracting officers and investigation of certain issues under federal procurement law. The claim alleged damages to remove runway concrete, re-excavate, repair and replace leaking joints in the pipe.

Our lawyers represented the manufacturer and supplier of double walled FRP pipe for district heating in a dispute with a mechanical contractor over alleged leaks in the pipe   installed at an Air Force base in Alaska. The case, which alleged damages to re-excavate, repair and replace leaking joints in the pipe, was litigated in federal court in Alaska and resolved through mediation.

Our firm defended the same client in a complex design and construction defect dispute where The Regents of the University of California claimed damages in excess of $32 million.   The suit involved the failure of the University of California’s Mission Bay Campus underground utility distribution system that serves campus offices, laboratories and classroom buildings.   In addition to navigating complex insurance disputes, defense of the matter included extensive fact and legal disputes including responsibility for the design of the piping system, causation issues, and extent of the pipe failure.   Our team successfully challenged a motion for good faith settlement finding in order to avoid consequences of joint and several liability as the last remaining named defendant in a multi-million dollar lawsuit.     This, and our team’s pending motion for summary judgment, set the stage for a mediation that resolved the disputes on very favorable terms.

Bid Protests

We successfully defended a general contractor in a bid protest for a public construction project before the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Arizona State Transportation Board.   In this case, the second lowest responsible bidder protested the award of a $22 million highway project to our client, arguing that our client had failed to abide by the state’s bidding regulations and was therefore rendered a non-responsible and non-responsive bidder. We relied on the state procurement code, the state’s standard specifications, and other regulations to overcome these allegations and convince the state transportation board to award the contract to our client.

We have also assisted our clients in protesting the award of public construction contracts to other parties.   For example, we initiated a bid protest to prevent the New Mexico Department of Transportation from awarding a $39 million highway construction project to another general contractor, despite our client’s apparent status as the lowest responsible bidder.   Due to the involvement of federal funds, this matter required knowledge and application of both federal regulations and legislation, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and state rules and regulations.

False Claims Act

We successfully represented a New Jersey specialty contractor in a wrongful termination and delay dispute with the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority.   The litigation was pending in Illinois state court  and was resolved in a settlement conference on the eve of trial.

We successfully represented a California real estate developer in a dispute with its general contractor relating to cost overruns, delay damages and potential violations of the California False Claims Act in the construction of various public improvements, including a water main line for a 3000+ unit residential development.

Prevailing Wages

Our lawyers represented a local housing authority in an administrative proceeding to debar a masonry subcontractor who falsified payrolls and violated Davis-Bacon regulations.   The contractor was debarred and this proceeding was the first of its kind for the authority and established precedents for future, similar proceedings.