Justia Construction Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
In 2005 the Army Corps of Engineers invited bids on a federal reservoir project in Illinois. One of the successful bidders was Slurry, which leased from Pileco a trench cutter made by Bauer. Slurry was a prime contractor on the Corps of Engineers’ project; the Miller Act, 40 U.S.C. 3131, requires prime contractors on some government construction projects to post bonds. Slurry used Fidelity as surety. The bond insured against a failure by Slurry to pay subcontractors, such as Pileco. Contending that the cutter was defective, Slurry refused to pay the agreed rental price. Pileco sued Slurry and Fidelity, asserting breach of contract that Fidelity violated the Miller Act by failing to reimburse Pileco for costs associated with Slurry’s reneging on its obligation to pay. Slurry counterclaimed. A second trial resulted in a verdict in Pileco’s favor except for a $357,716 equitable adjustment in favor of Slurry, based on time that cutter was inoperable because of a defect attributable to Pileco. The net result was that Pileco was awarded $2.23 million against Slurry for breach of contract and the same amount against Fidelity for the Miller Act violation. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, except with respect to the denial of prejudgment interest and costs. View "Pileco, Inc. v. Slurry Systems, Inc." on Justia Law