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Kaplin Stewart Construction Lawyers Get Big Win At Trial

10/14/2013 | Construction Blog

Kaplin Stewart lawyers
 have successfully completed a 2½ week jury trial in Jersey City, New Jersey with a verdict in favor of their client, Vincent Pools, Inc., against the general contractor, the owner, and the payment bond surety. 

The case arose out of a project in Jersey City, New Jersey. The City entered into a contract with the general contractor to build a recreational complex, including two swimming pools. Vincent Pools was hired as a subcontractor to construct the swimming pools. Although the project proceeded as expected, Vincent Pools was not paid a significant sum for its work. The firm asserted a claim against the payment bond and a separate municipal mechanic’s lien claim, and suit was thereafter brought against the City, the general contractor, and the surety.

The basis on which the money was withheld from Vincent Pools was alleged deficiencies in the plaster installed in the pools. The City and general contractor also counterclaimed against Vincent Pools and brought a claim against the performance bond on which Vincent Pools was the principal.

At trial, the firm made the case to the jury that there were no deficiencies in the plaster and that the City had no legal basis to reject the plaster work. In a highly technical analysis, they successfully demonstrated with the use of plaster samples removed from the pool, photos, and expert testimony that the effects about which the owner complained were not defects.  Rather, the plaster work was done according to industry standards and the outcome was normal. It was on this basis that they argued that the general contractor and surety had an obligation to pay Vincent Pools as well.

The jury agreed and found in favor of Vincent Pools. The claims against the performance bond were found to be without foundation and dismissed. Because an Offer of Judgment was rejected and the firm was able to obtain a verdict for 120% of the amount requested in that document, the second phase of the proceeding in which legal fees and costs will be sought is underway.

Kaplin Stewart is pleased to share this successful outcome for its client.