An Orange County jury yesterday unanimously awarded nearly $5 million to URS and AECOM from an unpaid contract dispute with Atkinson/Walsh, a joint venture of Atkinson Contractors wholly owned by Clark Construction and Walsh Construction (AWJV). Pepper Hamilton partner Marion T. Hack led the team representing URS and AECOM in the three-month trial.
“I’m ecstatic that we were able to recoup nearly all of the money URS and AECOM were owed from this project,” said Hack. “As the designer on the project, URS played a key role in the improvement project and deserved to be rightfully compensated for the work they provided.”
URS and AECOM sought to recover a contract balance of approximately $5 million for design services they performed for AWJV on the design-build State Route 91 Corridor Improvement Project. In response, AWJV sought $103,700,000, claiming that URS and AECOM performed their services late and deficiently. The jury denied AWJV’s claim for all but $2 million on a theory of negligence, but denied, in total, all of AWJV’s claims under the theory of breach of contract.
The project involved the $1.2 billion improvement of California’s State Route 91, one of the most congested freeways in the nation, and parts of the Interstate 15. Over the course of 16 miles, the project required highway widening, seismic retrofits, replacements and new structures on 32 freeway bridges and related work and improvements.
“The improvement project not only created more jobs for the area but eased the commute for those who regularly travel State Route 91. Now that this dispute has been resolved, we hope that all the involved parties can appreciate the success of this project for Southern California,” added Hack.