Construction of Federal Courthouses and U.S. Customs House

Construction of Federal Courthouses and U.S. Customs House
Morse Diesel International v. The United States of America

The General Services Administration (GSA) awarded Morse Diesel International, Inc./AMEC Construction Management (Morse Diesel) four federal construction contracts related to the Thomas F. Eagleton Federal Courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri; U.S. Customs House in San Francisco, California; and the Federal Courthouse in Sacramento, California. Morse Diesel issued a claim for more than $460,000 to GSA arising from the St. Louis Phase II Contract. The claim was followed by a complaint in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims consisting of 15 actions initiated by Morse Diesel under the Tucker Act and Contract Disputes Act after GSA issued a final decision denying the claim.

Cotton & Company assisted the U.S. Department of Justice in evaluating the claim and providing discovery assistance and other litigation support. The U.S. Government asserted nine counterclaims under the Anti-Kickback Act, False Claims Act, Contract Disputes Act, and Forfeiture of Fraud Claims, as well as common-law claims for false bond reimbursements.

The Court granted summary judgment and held Morse Diesel liable for its violations of the Anti-Kickback Act and False Claims Act. The court also held that Morse Diesel had forfeited its right to pursue its own claims against the Government. The court awarded the Government damages totaling nearly $7.3 million. The Government obtained a writ of garnishment for the damages and penalties owed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. Morse Diesel agreed to have a total of more than $8 million paid to the Government as part of the settlement.

Subsequently, Cotton & Company assisted with reprocurement claims for costs incurred by GSA and provided deposition testimony.