Illinois Appellate Court Attempts to Draw the Line Between Contract and Quasi-Contract; Holds That Quantum Meruit Is Only Available Where Disputed Work is Outside the “General Subject Matter” of the Contract

Archon Construction Co. v. U.S. Shelter, LLC, 2017 Ill. App. LEXIS 197 (March 31, 2017)

U.S. Shelter, LLC, a developer, undertook to develop a new residential subdivision in Elgin, Illinois. As part of that project, U.S. Shelter retained Archon Construction Company, Inc. (“Archon”) to install the sanitary sewer system for $890,955.29.

Archon’s contract provided that after the system was completed, Archon would videotape the interior of the piping, to allow the City of Elgin (“City”) to inspect and determine the acceptability of the system as installed.

Archon completed its work in August of 2005. In early 2007, the City requested that Archon perform the required videotaping.  Archon complied.

After viewing the videotapes, the City announced that the system, as installed, was not acceptable and that certain repairs were necessary. In particular, the City specified that one of the lines running through the system needed to be replaced because of cracking, the existence of gravel in the lines, and other issues.  While the entire sewer system had been constructed with PVC pipe, the City directed that this line be replaced with ductile iron pipe. Continue reading “Illinois Appellate Court Attempts to Draw the Line Between Contract and Quasi-Contract; Holds That Quantum Meruit Is Only Available Where Disputed Work is Outside the “General Subject Matter” of the Contract”

Texas District Court Rejects Rail Contractor’s Delay and Prompt Payment Claims and Awards Owner More Than $3 Million

Balfour Beatty Rail, Inc. v. The Kansas City Southern Railway Company, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39086 (N.D. Tex., March 25, 2016)

The contractor contracted with owner to install 65 miles of railroad track, for a price of $12,206,666.  The owner had engaged another contractor to grade and prepare the substrate for the railroad track, and was to furnish and deliver aggregate for track ballast and track rail material to various locations along the rail route.  The contractor’s scope included all other work.  The contractor fell behind in its work, and the owner hired additional contractors to complete a portion of its scope.  The contractor blamed the delays on the owner’s late delivery of aggregate and rail, and improper subgrade preparation under a theory of differing site conditions. It sought $4.35 million in unpaid change orders, delay damages, and penalties under Texas’ prompt payment statutes.  The owner in turn sought $2.6 million in completion costs and costs of wasted aggregate. Continue reading “Texas District Court Rejects Rail Contractor’s Delay and Prompt Payment Claims and Awards Owner More Than $3 Million”

Pennsylvania Appeals Court Finds Public Owner Waived Written Change Order Requirement By Conduct

East Coast Paving & Sealcoating, Inc. v. N. Allegheny Sch. Dist., 111 A.3d 220 (Pa. Commw. Mar. 6, 2015).

North Allegheny School District (“Owner”) hired East Coast Paving & Sealcoating, Inc. (“Contractor”) to pave several large areas.  Shortly after Contractor began its paving work, Owner’s architect found “soft spots” in the areas to be paved.  Contractor’s scope of work under the contract did not include soft spot repair work, in which soft ground is replaced with compacted stone before paving, but Contractor and Owner’s Director of Facilities, who had the authority to authorize additional work, agreed that Contractor would do the repair work.  Owner’s architect’s finding of soft spots and Owner’s Director of Facilities’ agreement with Contractor were documented in a report to Owner.  A second report to Owner documented Contractor’s commencement of the repair work. Continue reading “Pennsylvania Appeals Court Finds Public Owner Waived Written Change Order Requirement By Conduct”