By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
HARKER HEIGHTS - The city and Lindsey Contractors Inc., based out of Waco, settled on terms of repayment earlier this month in a lawsuit set go to a jury trial on Tuesday.
"It was probably the best thing for us to do," City Manager Steve Carpenter said.
Lindsey Contractors filed a lawsuit against the city on March 6, 2009, after it completed the Trimmer Creek Wastewater Improvement project, which was awarded to the company for $2.14 million.
According to court documents, the cost of the project totaled about $2.34 million after change orders took place during the project, which had a substantial completion date of September 2006.
The city never completed the payments for the additional change order Lindsey Contractors stated in court documents; therefore, it was seeking damages of about $60,986 for the goods and services provided, interest, the cost of the suit and all other relief in law and equity to which Lindsey Contractors might be entitled.
The city, however, believed it was acting in good faith when it issued its final payment to Lindsey Contractors, which omitted the cost of a fifth change order.
The fifth change order, which was dated April 4, 2008, was not submitted to the city for approval before the work was performed as agreed upon in the contract for the construction project, court documents stated.
Before the two organizations' meeting for the pretrial hearing, which was supposed to take place Friday, they met for mediation during which the case was settled, Carpenter said.
"It took half a day or so of give and take and (the attorneys) finally came up with a number," Carpenter said. "The purpose of negotiation is that you come with something that you settle on."
The city took the deal instead of risking more by going to trial, he said.
The settlement has yet to be signed by the judge, so a copy could not be obtained yet, Carpenter said.
Despite agreeing to a non-disclosure deal during the suit, Ryan Johnson, of Beard Kulten Brophy Bostwick Dickson & Squires, who represented Lindsey Contractors, said Lindsey Contractors was satisfied with the settlement.
"Lindsey was pleased with the outcome of the litigation," Johnson said.
"And we were happy to have this behind us, Lindsey and Harker Heights, and we hope to have good relations with the city going forward."
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7554. Follow him on Twitter at KDHheights.