International Sewer Pipeline Relocation and Flood Control

International Sewer Pipeline Relocation and Flood Control
Meridian Engineering Company v. The United States of America

The United States Army Corps of Engineers awarded a contract to the Meridian Engineering Company (Meridian) to temporarily divert water and construct concrete channels between stations at the Chula Vista Channel, Nogales Wash and Tributaries construction project in Nogales, Arizona. The contract was amended to include the demolition of an existing highway bridge, removal of an existing concrete channel, relocation of the international sewer line, and replacement of the highway bridge.Meridian asserted many government-caused damages on the basis of defective design, defective specifications, differing site conditions, constructive changes, a stop-contract work order, and delays related to prerequisites for construction, among other issues. Meridian filed claims for damages of more than $7.6 million. Cotton & Company was engaged by the U.S. Department of Justice to provide litigation support and expert witness services. We prepared an expert report based on our review of claim calculations and supporting documentation, such as accounting reports, daily reports, quality control reports, and miscellaneous company reports to ensure that claimed costs were in accordance with the contract and with Federal Acquisition Regulations. We also provided deposition and trial assistance. After depositions, expert reports, and trial on liability, Meridian reduced its claim to more than $6.4 million, of which, less than $5.6 million was related to original claim elements.

Meridian asserted many government-caused damages on the basis of defective design, defective specifications, differing site conditions, constructive changes, a stop-contract work order, and delays related to prerequisites for construction, among other issues. Meridian filed claims for damages of more than $7.6 million. Cotton & Company was engaged by the U.S. Department of Justice to provide litigation support and expert witness services. We prepared an expert report based on our review of claim calculations and supporting documentation, such as accounting reports, daily reports, quality control reports, and miscellaneous company reports to ensure that claimed costs were in accordance with the contract and with Federal Acquisition Regulations. We also provided deposition and trial assistance. After depositions, expert reports, and trial on liability, Meridian reduced its claim to more than $6.4 million, of which, less than $5.6 million was related to original claim elements.

The government did not contest liability related to 4 of the 14 counts submitted by the contractor. The Court ruled in favor of the government in all of the counts that the government did contest. The Court has yet to hear arguments on the damages related to the counts that were not contested by the government.