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Vol. 2006-09-b September, 2006

Punitive Damages Awarded Contractor; Municipality's Breach of Contract
(Part 2 of 2, Conclusion.)

The contract with the Village required arbitration. Accordingly, the original GC brought its Demand for Arbitration and claim, filed with the American Arbitration Association, on February 22, 2000, for monetary compensation and damages. The contract, AIA Doc. A-101, 1997 Edition, mandated arbitration under the AAA Construction Claims Arbitration Rules, 1999 Edition. The GC's claims were timely amended and supported up to the close of hearings, for a total demand of: $714,987.51.

PDG, although closely related to the project, strongly opposed application of the doctrine of nexus and refused to permit its being joined as a party to the arbitration. The Arbitrator concurred, and the matter proceeded without the A-E as a party respondent. During hearings, the A-E's representative was cross-examined at length regarding his role in the administration of the construction contract and his decision, albeit wrongly, to terminate the original GC.

The Village's Law Director, an Attorney and his Associate Counsel, represented the Village, in its Counterclaims and demands for damages, including the Village's claims of fraud, misrepresentation, interference, etc.

GC's Counsel, J. Norman Stark, Attorney-Architect, set forth its claims and several affirmative defenses, which the Village failed to overcome at hearings, warranting denial.

The Arbitrator, a Professional Engineer, of the American Arbitration Association was, by virtue of his professional training and experience, able to evaluate and consider the large amount of technical construction evidence, numerous issues, documents and the testimony of expert witnesses in making his detailed decision.
The Award ordered Grafton to pay the original GC the total award and all costs and expenses not later than thirty days after the award published on March 9, 2001, WITH INTEREST AT 10.0% CONTINUING UNTIL FULLY PAID. An Application to Confirm the Arbitrator's Award had already been filed with the Common Pleas Court of Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

Governmental entities and political subdivisions include agencies and municipalities, all of whom are subject to the laws applicable. When necessary, appropriate legal action and perseverance to see it through, may secure the fair and equitable resolution of construction claims.


A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that... is the beginning of a new argument.


AUTHOR / EDITOR: J. NORMAN STARK is an Attorney-at-Law, a Registered Architect, (AIA, NCARB) Registered Landscape Architect, Interior Designer, Planner and Senior Appraiser (ASA), admitted to practice law before the Bar of Ohio, the US District Courts, Ohio and Illinois (Central Dist.), the US Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. He is a Mediator, Arbitrator and Litigator with experience in Business, Construction Law, and Public Works, and with additional experience in Real Estate, Construction Attorney (Legal Project and Crisis Management), and as an Expert Witness (Forensic Architect). His office is in Cleveland, Ohio.

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