Louisiana Record

Monday, July 15, 2019

Construction of two New Orleans churches at center of nearly $3 million lawsuit

By Max Schramel | Mar 9, 2015

NEW ORLEANS – A local construction company alleges additional work requested by its customer caused contractual issues resulting in them filing a lawsuit requesting nearly $3 million.

TKTMJ Inc. filed suit against St. Martin’s Manor Inc. and The Roman Catholic Church of the Diocese of New Orleans in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Nov. 24, 2014.

According to the complaint, on March 15, 2012, the defendants reached a contractual agreement with TKTMJ to supply construction services. The original amount of the agreed contract was $10,215,000, the suit claims. The contract specified construction was to be completed no later than four hundred and twenty days after the first workday or, “[t]he original Contract Time for the work to be substantially completed was not later than 420 days from the Date of Commencement.”

Alleged structural changes during the project led to significant alterations in the original construction plan leading TKTMJ to institute a series of “Change Proposal Requests,” the suit says.

These changes prevented TKTMJ from completing work from April 2012 to May 2013, the suit says. When work resumed on May 2013, the defendant’s new design plan included an overwhelming amount of work not included in the original contractual agreement.

As a result, TKTMJ met with a counter offer in order to comply with the defendants’ new construction plan. However, the defendants refused, allegedly using a clause within their original contract to force the plaintiffs to continue work.

The plaintiffs allegedly were forced to use “significant resources” and other forms of labor to complete this task, however, on June 25, 2013, the defendants terminated their contract with TKTMJ.

On July 19, 2013, the plaintiffs amassed a final bill calculating the amount due for the extra work completed. On July 29, 2013 this bill was revised a final time, and totaled $3,598,522.

At first, the defendants allegedly refused to pay, but after TKTMJ filed a “Statement of Claim and Privilege” on Aug. 20, 2013, the defendants paid $635,484.

According to the plaintiffs, the defendants still allegedly owe approximately $2,963,038, plus interest.

The plaintiffs are represented by Scott J. Hedlund of Deutsch Kerrigan & Stiles LLP.

The case has been assigned to Div. I Judge Piper D. Griffin.

Case no. 2014-11273.

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