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Federal Court Enjoins Owner From Withholding Payment of Disputed Invoices Based on Contract Provision Requiring Parties to 'Diligently Proceed With Performance' Notwithstanding Any Dispute

Coalview Centralia, LLC v. Transalta Centralia Mining LLC, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185914 (W.D. Wash. Oct. 30, 2018)

Author: Luke Nicholas Eaton

12/13/2018

Read the full post at Constructlaw

Federal Court Enjoins Owner From Withholding Payment of Disputed Invoices Based on Contract Provision Requiring Parties to 'Diligently Proceed With Performance' Notwithstanding Any Dispute

This case involves a dispute over Coalview Centralia, LLC’s (Coalview) performance of environmental cleanup work at a coal mine and associated power plant near Centralia, Washington. TransAlta Central Mining (TCM) hired Coalview to remediate and restore three waste coal slurry impoundment ponds. In general terms, Coalview agreed to dredge the ponds, extract the coal fines for use in the power plant, and deliver the remaining slurry for final disposal. Coalview was to submit monthly invoices – and to be paid – based on the weight of slurry removed or the weight of usable coal recovered, whichever is greater.

The Master Services Agreement (MSA) between TCM and Coalview provided, in pertinent part, that: (1) TCM had 30 days to “dispute” an invoice and explain the reasons for its dispute; (2) the parties had a one-year period to correct invoice “inaccuracies;” and (3) “[n]otwithstanding any disputes … contractor and owner shall diligently proceed with performance of this Agreement.”

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