St. Mary’s Academy and architect sued for alleged nonpayment on construction work

By Holland Phillips | Sep 27, 2013

NEW ORLEANS—A general contracting company asks the court to enforce payment for work completed at St. Mary’s Academy.

Sage Inc. of Louisiana filed suit against Rozas Ward/ AIA Architects Inc. and St. Mary’s Academy of the Holy Family in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

The plaintiff company claims that it drafted a verbal contractual agreement with Ward, the architect, for a construction project at St. Mary’s Academy. In doing so, the plaintiff specifically stated that it required on-time payment within 14 days of invoice receipt for services rendered.

The defendants paid the plaintiff for work completed from Dec. 15, 2010 to Jan. 31, 2011. Since that date, however, the plaintiff claims that there are outstanding invoiced payments totaling $55,417.50. When Sage attempted to collect, it was informed that the architect’s contract with St. Mary’s included a “pay when paid” clause. Sage demands payment in consideration of the fact that the contract with AIA contains no such clause.

The defendants are accused of breach of contract. Furthermore, Sage submits that as a third party beneficiary to contractual agreement between St. Mary’s and AIA, both should be held jointly liable to Sage.

Sage claims that the defendants’ nonpayment and resulting lack of working capital has caused substantial damage to its business practices including causing an inability to fund bond premiums for projects, inability to bid on contracting work, loss of liability insurance, inability to submit proposals on any future projects, loss of professional services insurance, loss of health insurance policies and loss of financing.

An undisclosed amount in damages is sought in addition to the unpaid $55,417.50. Sage also demands compensation for any services that would have been performed for St. Mary’s and AIA for the duration of the construction project as contracted.

Sage, Inc. is represented by Dale E. Williams of the Covington-based Law Office of Dale Edward Williams.

The case has been assigned to Division A Judge Tiffany G. Chase.

Case no. 2013-06706.

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