Massman Construction seeks more than $360,000 in damages from PAI Ready Mix cement company

By Davion Smith | Aug 5, 2018

A Louisiana company that produces ready-mix concrete is alleged to have supplied defective concrete to repair a railroad bridge in the state.

LAKE CHARLES — PAI Ready Mix cement company faces a lawsuit in excess of $360,000, allegedly for supplying defective concrete to repair a railroad bridge in Louisiana.

Massman Construction Co. filed the suit in the Western District Court of Louisiana against PAI Ready Mix, as well as PAI's parent company, Port Aggregates Inc., for damages allegedly caused by breach of contract.

Documents filed in the district court show Massman is suing for at least $361,000.

In July 2017, Massman hired PAI Ready Mix to supply 300 cubic yards of concrete to repair the railroad bridge over the Atchafalaya River, near Krotz Springs, according to the complaint.

Both parties reportedly agreed that the concrete would reach 4,000 pounds-per-square-inch (psi) strength in no fewer than 28 days after the concrete was poured at the repair project site.

After preparing sample batches of the concrete, PAI allegedly confirmed to Massman that the concrete for the repair project would become 3,500 psi within three days of being poured at the site, reaching the agreed 4,000 psi strength in no less than 28 days, according to the complaint.

Trains can only return to using the railroad bridge within three days of concrete pouring, if the newly poured concrete hardens to at least 2,000 psi of compressive strength, according to court documents.

Massman claims that tests were conducted on the repair site two to four days after PAI poured the concrete mix. Those tests reportedly showed that the mix was not hardening. The construction company alleges the average compressive strength of the concrete in question was 378 psi.

Massman further alleges that the mix had a compressive strength no greater than 3,250 psi, when another set of tests was done 28 days after the mix was poured.

Massman subsequently stated the concrete as "defective,"  according to the complaint. It is seeking damages for increased costs of labor to fix the problem, as well as increased material costs, increased equipment costs, idle equipment costs, field expenses, and costs due to loss of efficiency, according to the complaint.

 Massman alleges that because the project ran behind schedule it has suffered higher overhead costs, damage to its reputation, and property damage.

Massman claims PAI was in breach of contract because it failed to perform its contractual obligations to the construction company.

Massman also leveled claims of shoddy workmanship and negligence by PAI, which is is also accused of failing to follow the concrete manufacturing standards and regulations required by state and national authorities such as the American Society for Testing and Materials, the State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

Massman has, therefore, requested a trial by jury in the district court. Attorney-at-law Stephen Larzelere is representing the plaintiff.

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