In WEB Construction Incorporated v. Owatonna Concrete Products, Inc., et al. (Steele County District Court, 2009) WEB claimed the concrete supplied to it by Owatonna Concrete was defective and led to “pop-outs” in the floor at the Itron building addition. Itron filed for arbitration against WEB and obtained a $588,276 judgment. WEB then sued Owatonna Concrete for contribution and indemnity, claiming breach of contract and breach of warranty.
Deborah Eckland and Alan King represented the entire defense group. Their first order of business was to have WEB’s counsel disqualified. WEB’s original counsel had represented the defendants in the past. The court granted the motion to disqualify.
Investigation revealed that the project specs had contained a very unusual “no shale” specification. The defendants did not know about this specification until after the contract had been entered. And once they found out, there were two problems: 1) it is impossible to get shale-free aggregate in the state of Minnesota, and to obtain it elsewhere would have been exorbitant and beyond the price included in the bid; and 2) WEB itself had approved the design plan submitted by the defendants which showed the aggregate’s shale content. If there were “pop-outs,” WEB had only itself to blame.
Deborah and Alan’s work allowed the defense group to get the case settled on acceptable terms, the details of which are confidential.