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Stadium construction company files law suit against Tech

Source: Collegiate Times, October 24, 2006
By: Ryan McConnell & Kevin Anderson

Turner Construction Company has filed a lawsuit against Virginia Tech, maintaining that it is still owed over $30 million for its expansion and construction work on the West Stands of Lane Stadium.
In their case, filed Sept. 13, 2006, Turner alleges that missing information, inadequate design coordination and defective performance specifications by Tech?s design team all led to the delays in Turner?s construction work on the project, especially with the structural steel design.
The project was not completed until June 8, 2006, nearly two-and-a-half years after the contract was awarded to Turner after the bidding process and 10 months after the expected completion date of Aug. 8, 2005 Virginia Tech contracted out Moseley, Harris, & McClintock to make design plans, and they in turn sub-contracted the Thornton & Tomasetti Group to plan the structural steel designs. Turner claims the steel design drawings provided by Thornton & Tomasetti failed to meet the specifications necessitated by Virginia Law as well as the contract set forth by Moseley, Harris, & McClintock.
In their complaint, attorneys from Seyfarth & Shaw LLP representing Turner Construction Company contend that while the steel design drawings were sealed by a licensed engineer, Thomas Scarangello, oversight of the design was mostly performed by Anjana Kadakia, Armindo Monteiro, Michael Delashmit, none of whom are licensed as engineers by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Turner Construction cites that in its contract with the university, they are not responsible for negligence in design.
A statement e-mailed to the Collegiate Times by the public relations manager for Turner Construction Company, Shannon Eckhart, outlined the basis for the lawsuit.
“Turner Construction Company has filed a lawsuit against Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to recover amounts owed to Turner under its contract with Virginia Tech to construct the Lane Stadium West Sideline Expansion Project in Blacksburg, Virginia. The amounts owed to Turner by Virginia Tech are substantial, yet Turner has never wavered in its commitment to complete the facility in spite of the ongoing dispute. Turner has attempted over the last several months to reach an amicable resolution of this dispute. Turner and the university are continuing to discuss opportunities for an amicable, negotiated means to settle. To date, both party?s efforts in agreeing upon a resolution process have been unsuccessful, but Turner remains hopeful that a settlement process can be agreed to shortly. Should the settlement discussions fail, Turner is confident in the factual and legal positions set forth in its lawsuit and would look forward to the court’s prompt and fair resolution of its claims.”
Besides its issues with the structural steel designs, Turner also states that the conformed design documents were to be delivered by the university upon being awarded the contract, which was on February 26, 2004. Turner says that the documents were in fact not delivered until May 3, 2004, two months later than the expected date.
In the filed complaint, Turner also states that it spent over $10 million of its own money to pay sub-contractors for overtime work and labor payments, and its continued requests for time extensions and fiscal help were denied by university officials. As reported in the Collegiate Times in Oct. 2005, Turner Construction Company was sued by Varney, Inc. for costs that were incurred as a result of the delays. Varney, contracted for the plumbing, heating & air conditioning, and ventilation work, sought nearly $3.7 million in the suit. The case was settled for an undisclosed amount.
A second lawsuit was recently filed by another one of Turner?s subcontractors in May 2006 for monetary losses due to delays. The Gates Precast company sued Turner Construction Company for over $670,000. The case is still pending.
Attorneys for both sides declined comment on the suit, and Virginia Tech officials could not be reached for comment.

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