Articles Posted in U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals

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Kahrs imports engineered wood flooring panels for distribution to flooring wholesalers. Kahrs classified the products as “assembled parquet panels” under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheading 4418.30.00, a duty-free provision for “Builders’ joinery and carpentry of wood, including cellular wood panels and assembled parquet panels; shingles and shakes: parquet panels.” Customs subsequently liquidated Kahrs’ merchandise under HTSUS 4412, which covers “plywood, veneered panels and similar laminated wood,” at a duty rate of eight percent ad valorem. Customs denied a protest and the Court of International Trade found that Customs correctly classified Kahrs’ merchandise as plywood under heading 4412. The Federal Circuit affirmed. View "Kahrs Int'l, Inc. v. United States" on Justia Law

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In 2003, the company entered into contracts with the government for roof repairs of two government buildings. Due to delays the projects were not completed and accepted by the government until September and October 2005. At the time, Federal Acquisition Regulations required that a performance report be prepared for each construction contract for $550,000 or more, 48 C.F.R. § 36.201. The company received negative interim performance evaluations from the resident engineer for both projects in February, 2004. In March, 2006, the resident engineer issued proposed negative final performance evaluations for both projects. The company protested the proposed evaluations, asserting that subcontractors and other problems, beyond its control, caused the delays. In final performance evaluations, the engineer assigned an overall performance rating of unsatisfactory and assigned unsatisfactory ratings for each project in 15 individual categories. The contracting officer issued a final decision that the unsatisfactory performance appraisal was justified. The Claims Court rejected the company's suit. The Federal Circuit affirmed. A contractor is responsible for the unexcused performance failures of its subcontractors and the complaint did not allege facts that would excuse the delays. View "Todd Constr., L.P. v. United States" on Justia Law

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A contractor, renovating military housing, obtained a performance bond under the Miller Act (40 U.S.C. 3131 (b)) and abandoned the project after completing 12 percent of the work. The government had paid 40 percent of the contract price. The surety contracted for completion, but the second contractor discovered code violations and incurred penalties for late completion. Costs were reimbursed by the surety, which filed suit under the Tucker Act, 28 U.S.C. 1491. The Federal Circuit held that the Claims Court lacked jurisdiction. The court previously held that the Claims Court has jurisdiction under the Act over sureties' claims based on a theory of equitable subrogation; this case does not involve equitable subrogation because the government made payments at issue before receiving notice of the contractor's default. The waiver of sovereign immunity under the Act does not extend to impairment of suretyship claims apart from the theory of equitable subrogation. The Contract Disputes Act, 41 U.S.C. 601, applies to a surety's claim against the government arising from a takeover agreement between the government and surety for completion of a bonded contract following the principal obligor’s default; the surety failed to satisfy CDA jurisdictional prerequisites. View "Lumbermens Mut. Cas. Co. v. United States" on Justia Law

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The United States Army Corps of Engineers awarded the company a contract for construction of a government hospital at Fort Benning. Two rival bidders each filed a bid protest with the Government Accountability Office, which recommended that the contract be re-procured without the company's participation. The GAO found organizational conflict of interest, focusing on the potential for access to nonpublic information and had concluding that the company had access to special knowledge of the Army's requirements that would give unfair advantage. The Army announced that it would follow the GAO recommendation and terminated the contract. The Court of Claims ordered reinstatement and the Federal Circuit affirmed. The Claims Court applied the correct standard of review in concluding that the termination was unreasonable. Th GAO identified no facts to indicated that the company actually had access to specific, sensitive information. View "Turner Constr. Co., Inc. v. United States" on Justia Law