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Src Construction Corp. of Monroe v. Atlantic City Housing Authority

April 12, 2011

SRC CONSTRUCTION CORP. OF MONROE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ATLANTIC CITY HOUSING AUTHORITY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Joseph E. Irenas

OPINION

IRENAS, Senior District Judge:

This is a dispute arising out of the construction of an assisted living facility in Atlantic City. According to the pleadings, the facility was intended to be finished in approximately a year and a half, but seven years later, it was still not completed. The parties' disputes seem mainly to concern who is responsible for the delays that occurred.

Plaintiff SRC Construction Corp. of Monroe ("SRC Construction") was the general contractor for the project. Defendant Atlantic City Housing Authority owned the site on which the facility was to be built, and awarded SRC Construction the contract to build the facility. Defendants Lindemon, Winckelmann, Deupree, Martin, Russell & Associates, P.C. ("Lindemon"), an architectural firm, and Defendant Czar Engineering ("Czar"), and engineering firm, allegedly provided professional services in connection with the construction project pursuant to contracts with the Housing Authority.

The professional Defendants presently move to dismiss the claims against them pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), based on New Jersey's Affidavit of Merit statute, N.J.S.A. 2A:53A-26 to -29.*fn1 For the reasons stated herein, Czar's Motion to Dismiss will be granted, and Lindemon's Motion to Dismiss will be granted in part and denied in part.

I.

In late 2001, Atlantic City Housing Authority awarded a "lump sum contract" to SRC Construction to build an assisted living facility consisting of "48 apartments, totaling an area of approximately 48,000 square feet, for the purpose of providing community assisted living residences to eligible senior individuals." (Compl. ¶¶ 7, 8)

Several months later, in April, 2002, SRC Construction and the Housing Authority entered into a contract whereby "SRC [Construction] would perform the construction of the project for the [Housing Authority], within a period of six hundred and thirty (630) calendar days*fn2 " and the Housing Authority would pay SRC Construction approximately $5.8 million. (Compl. ¶¶ 12, 13)

SRC Construction "attempted to commence performance on August 19, 2002" but alleges that it was "repeatedly and continually frustrated because of elongated delays caused by [Defendants] from the outset of the Project." (Compl. ¶ 27)

SRC Construction alleges that Defendant Lindemon caused significant delays by:

C "fail[ing] to provide the necessary building permits to SRC in accordance with their duties, responsibilities, and obligations" (Compl. ¶ 29)

C "fail[ing] to provide adequate project drawings to facilitate the necessary coordination of the utility (power, water, and sewer) design in accordance with their duties, responsibilities, and obligations" (Compl. ¶ 30)

C "fail[ing] to disclose . . . important information regarding subsurface conditions such as the location of cables, oil tanks and water mains in accordance with their duties, responsibilities and obligations" (Compl. ¶ 34)

C "fail[ing] to provide SRC with necessary architectural drawings . . . in a professional and/or timely manner in accordance with their duties, responsibilities, and obligations" (Compl. ¶ 36)

C "submitt[ing] drawings on multiple occasions to the Building Department that were deemed Non-Code Compliant" (Compl. ¶ 118(i))

Plaintiff's multiple requests for pertinent information on numerous issues" (Compl. ¶ 118 (iii)); and

C "repeatedly provid[ing] defective verbal approvals of change orders to Plaintiff, only to have these change orders rejected by [the Housing Authority] later" (Compl. ¶ 118(iv))

SRC Construction alleges that Defendant Czar caused ...


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