Ohio Court of Claims Considers $1.8 Million Judgment Against State Agency
A state agency could be on the hook for more than $1.8 million if a recommendation pending in the Ohio Court of Claims is approved.
A Court of Claims referee made the recommendation on Sept. 17 in the lawsuit TransAmerica Building Company, Inc. brought against the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) over problems with a dormitory construction project at the Ohio State School for the Blind and the Ohio School for the Deaf in Columbus.
TransAmerica, the general trades contractor for partial construction of 12 dormitories that was plagued with many problems, including delays and budget overruns, filed a lawsuit in June 2013 to recover damages after OSFC withheld payments. The state agency filed a counterclaim for breach of contract.
The referee’s $1,837,404.35 recommendation in favor of TransAmerica noted what should have taken about four years became a 5- to 6-year project because of “politics and budgeting problems” that were not the contractor’s fault.
“It was the fault of OSFC in its efforts to build facilities that [the schools] could not afford, and in trusting its agents to carry out the task, agents who often acted in their own interest and not in the interest of the OSFC, or fairly and honestly in their dealings with [TransAmerica],” the referee wrote.
OSFC would not receive any damages for its counterclaim to recover the cost of correcting roof work or for increased operating costs and fees.
The parties have 14 days from the filing date of the decision to file objections. A judge of the Court of Claims will then rule on any objections and may adopt, reject, or modify the referee’s decision.
The Court of Claims is given original jurisdiction to hear and determine all civil actions filed against the State of Ohio and its agencies.
To access information on other cases, visit the Court of Claims website.
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