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Arbitration Victory in a Construction Case

12.09.2021

Arbitration Victory in a Construction Case

West Mermis attorneys Joshua W. Mermis (Partner), Stephen A. Dwyer (Associate), and co-counsel Chris Conry with the Conry Law Firm, obtained an arbitration victory for their client, a large truck stop owner/operator, in a construction case. The Texas-based general contractor asserted claims against the owner/operator in an arbitration proceeding seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in disputed change orders.

The legal team of West Mermis and Conry Law Firm provided the owner/operator a defense and went on the offensive: they asserted counter-claims arising out of the general contractor’s defective construction. Following a one-week arbitration hearing in Houston, the arbitrator found that the general contractor had breached the contract and entered an award in favor of the owner/operator. The arbitration award, which included an award of attorney’s fees, was in excess of half a million dollars.

 “I am so proud of our team. The long days and nights paid off. Additionally, we are especially happy for our client because this award will enable it to repair its truck stop.” – Joshua W. Mermis 

 

Background

On September 26, 2016, Interplan Architects, Inc. (“Interplan”) and Sairoop entered into a contract for Interplan to develop a full set of original construction documents for the design for a convenience store and truck facility in Bay City, Texas (the “Project”). After the plans were developed by Interplan, Interplan advised Sairoop to obtain bids from other contractors for the Project. However, Sairoop only sought one bid; and that bid was from “TACC“, a construction company owned and run by Interplan’s owner, who was also the architect of record (under Interplan) for the Project.

The Project commenced and the truck facility opened for business after substantial completion. But TACC demanded Sairoop pay unapproved change orders after the Project was complete. Meanwhile, within the first year after completion of the Project, the truck facility began experiencing extensive water leaks into the building and other problems with the fuel pumps. Sairoop retained construction consultants to evaluate the Project and numerous problems with the Project were identified.

Eventually, this arbitration was commenced by TACC seeking recovery of money (change orders) it claims Sairoop owed for its work on the Project. Sairoop hired the law firms of West Mermis and Conry Law, and they filed counterclaims on Sairoop’s behalf against TACC for the defective construction and resulting damage. A one-week evidentiary arbitration hearing was held in Houston, Texas in October 2021.

Award

The Arbitrator ruled in favor of Sairoop, LLC (CASE NO. 01-19-0003-1386) and awarded it the sum of $544,314.86 against TACC.

About West Mermis:

West Mermis is a boutique law firm with over fifty years of combined experience in handling construction litigation, business disputes, and insurance defense. We protect the business interests of our clients by navigating contentious legal matters and working to avoid costly litigation down the road. We have worked with both defendants and plaintiffs in construction and business disputes, resolving issues through expert analysis and trial work. For more information, please visit www.westmermis.com.

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