BLAIR, Nebraska – A Washington County, Nebraska District Court has ruled in favor of Total Industrial Plant Services, Inc. [TIPS] in its suit against a general contractor and two other plaintiffs which TIPS said neglected to pay for work performed on a construction project.
“It’s very difficult for a visiting attorney with no connection to the local court system to win a case,” TIPS attorney Norman Abood said. “I’m gratified we won, and especially gratified my client will be compensated for the money owed to them.”
TIPS had been hired by purchase order as a subcontractor by general contractor Welco Services, Inc. of McPherson, Kan., to upgrade a Novozymes enzymes plant in Blair, Neb. on land owned by Cargill. After TIPS completed their initial work and submitted invoices in fall, 2011, Welco declined to pay, claiming TIPS failed to complete the services detailed in Welco’s purchase order. TIPS continued its work, and additional work requested verbally and through change orders but, after still not receiving payment from Welco, left the jobsite in spring 2012, having completed 60% of the purchase order and significant other work requested on-the-job and through change orders.
After TIPS filed suit, Welco countersued, seeking payment for having to pay another subcontractor for the work it said TIPS failed to complete.
After a four-day trial, Judge John Samson ruled on Aug. 5, 2015 for TIPS and dismissed Welco’s counter suit. He ordered Welco to pay TIPS $579,241.68 of which Cargill and Novozymes were ordered to pay $194,683.32 within 20 days as a condition of releasing the construction lien filed against the $500 million Cargill/Novozymes property. If not paid within 20 days, Judge Samson ordered the sheriff immediately proceed with foreclosure sale.
In explaining his decision, Judge Samson said TIPS’ documentation and testimony were credible while Welco’s was not. A primary issue throughout the case was the credibility of Welco’s president/part owner and project manager. His testimony on almost every issue was rebutted by e-mails and related business and contract documents.
Abood said he was pleased by not surprised by the verdict, as he and TIPS were well-prepared for the hearing.
“Through orderly presentation of hundreds of exhibits we were able to convince the court that Welco’s testimony was not to be believed. As a result, we obtained a fair and significant award for our client.”