When a contract is formed between parties, it is often assumed that everyone involved will honor their side of the agreement. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. When things don’t go according to plan, significant disputes may arise due to perceived breaches of contract. Such a situation arose in New Jersey, where one firm is in an ongoing dispute with the state’s administration over work done in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
The three-year contract, held by Hammerman & Gainer Incorporated, covered extensive repair work within the state and was worth $68 million. However, the firm claimed that the work New Jersey demanded was in excess of its capabilities hammered out in the contract and that the timeframe agreed upon was later accelerated. The contract was terminated by the state in December after having begun less than a year earlier.
The ensuing contract litigation, which has not yet been resolved, focuses on the state’s alleged debt owed to the firm. The firm invoiced New Jersey for $51 million, yet claims that $18 million of this total remains unpaid. The state’s response has been that the firm did not allow adequate time for an amicable settlement to the dispute to be discussed. Furthermore, Fair Share Housing has stated that the firm had breached contract itself by failing to provide weekly progress reports.
Disputes such as this one in New Jersey can result in significant financial and emotional strain. Reaching an agreement might take time, but that does not mean you should be discouraged. It is important for all parties to examine the situation carefully and be aware of their rights. By doing this, they have the best chance of reaching a fair solution for all concerned.
Source: Philly News, “Fired Sandy contractor seeks $18 million from N.J.,” Andrew Seidman, Feb. 28, 2014