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Kirwin Norris Collects $1.12 Million in Payment Dispute with owner

Mon 26th Jul, 2021 Company News

Attorneys Brian P. Kirwin and Christene H. Ford successfully represented a general contractor in its construction lien claim and payment dispute with the owner of a new assisted living facility project located in Volusia County. At issue in the case was the date of substantial completion and the owner’s ability to assess liquidated damages.

Contractor timely obtained a Certificate of Occupancy by the date outlined in the contract documents, however, the owner still assessed $500,000 in liquidated damages, arguing the definition of substantial completion in the contract documents was more expansive than a mere date. In addition, the owner withheld additional costs, including its alleged costs to complete the punchlist at a time when the contractor was precluded from being on the site due to COVID-19. Lastly, the owner claimed the contractor’s lien was fraudulent for failing to acknowledge the disputed liquidated damages assessment and sought punitive damages in excess of $600,000.

Attorneys Kirwin and Ford aggressively defended against the owner’s claims while simultaneously pursing the contractor’s and the arbitration panel ultimately found for the contractor, awarding it $1.12 million.  Further, the arbitration panel also determined contractor to be the prevailing party, awarding it prejudgment interest and reimbursement of all arbitration and attorneys’ fees incurred. 

Kirwin Norris concentrates its legal practice in construction law and is pleased to have prevailed both in prosecuting its client’s claim and defending against the owner’s erroneous back charge.

By Christene H. Ford