Andrey Burin Jun. 2, 2015, 4:25pm


NEW ORLEANS –The Communications District of Orleans Parish is suing the engineering and architecture firms that spearheaded the building of the new Orleans Parish 911 call center for negligence in the design and execution of the new facility.

Orleans Parish Communications District filed suit against Sizeler Thompson Brown Architects Project Design Group LLC and Lucien T. Vivien Jr. and Associates Inc. in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on April 30.

The plaintiff claims that a contract had been signed in 2002 calling for the building of a new call center. But damages that occurred to it during Katrina, completely disabling all 911 service in Orleans Parish, made the need for a new facility an urgent one. The OPCD entered into a contract with Sizeler Architects for the project.

Sizeler entered into consultant agreements with other design professionals to coordinate the various design disciplines and completed a plan for the project on Sept. 15, 2009. The plan was allegedly unneccesarily expensive and burdensome. An example given by the plaintiff is the purchasing of two diesel generators required that cost $300,000 more than what was needed to fully power the call centers. The over-sized generators also caused further mechanical issues that required correcting, allegedly totaling $290,000 in unnecessary costs.

The plaintiff seeks an unspecified amount in damages, penalties and interest for professional malpractice in poorly designing the electrical systems for the OPCD 911 call center.

The plaintiff is represented by Chadwick W. Collings of New Orleans-based Milling Benson Woodward LLP.

This case has been assigned to Div. C Judge Sidney H. Cates IV.

Case no. 2015-04188.

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