Mediation Ordered for Huntsville Jail Lawsuit
Wednesday, December, 21, 2011
Circuit Judge Laura Hamilton in Madison County, Alabama in the long fought lawsuit between Huntsville and Dawson Building Contractors has ordered a 90-day mediation. Attorney Dag Rowe, representing Dawson, suggests that the city still owes Dawson millions of dollars, and that the process could be simplified due to a previous Alabama Supreme Court ruling in favor of Dawson. Attorneys for Huntsville are suing over alleged faulty construction of the city's jail.
Primary Issues in this Dispute
The City of Huntsville want the mediation period to resolve several issues surrounding the lawsuit. Chiefly, that they hold Dawson primarily responsible for the alleged faulty construction as the lead contractor on this project. Other architects, engineers and subcontractors are to be included in the mediation as well.
On the other side, attorneys representing Dawson claim that the city still owes them millions of dollars for the contract, and that the city should not deduct from what they owe the contractors because of the construction issues. Additionally, they hold that the other professionals in the contract had small roles in the issue, and that their claims should be heard as well as Dawson's. Also, the previously mentioned ruling holds that Huntsville could not change their reason for firing Dawson from “convenience” to “for cause,” which could dismantle Huntsville's push to penalize Dawson for the supposed defective construction of the jail.
Things to Come in This Arbitration
Judge Hamilton agreed that the subcontractor's claims should be addressed in the mediation. Attorneys of both parties were also informed that if there is no progress in the hearing, then the case will go to trial.