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Evidence That Government Internally Considered Additional Modifications After the Parties Had Signed Earlier Modifications May Negate a Finding That the Earlier Modifications Were an Accord and Satisfaction of All Claims

Meridian Eng'g Co. v. United States, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 7024 (Fed. Cir., Mar. 20, 2018)

Author: John H. Conrad

5/10/2018

Read the full post at Constructlaw

Evidence That Government Internally Considered Additional Modifications After the Parties Had Signed Earlier Modifications May Negate a Finding That the Earlier Modifications Were an Accord and Satisfaction of All Claims

Meridian Engineering Company (Meridian) was hired by the United States (Government) to construct flood control structures on the Chula Vista Project. Meridian encountered what it considered to be differing site conditions on the project. The Government issued two contract modifications in response to Meridian’s claims. Later, structural failures occurred and the Government ultimately terminated Meridian. Meridian filed suit in the Court of Federal Claims.

The court held that Meridian failed to establish a compensable differing site condition because the bid documents sufficiently notified contractors of potential water conditions at the site that could result in the conditions claimed. Also, the court held that Meridian was charged with knowledge of the conditions that a pre-bid site visit would have revealed, which included the conditions in question. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court on that issue.

Meridian also sought damages due to alleged specification defects that caused flood events. 

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