Livingston Procurement Law
Case Studies
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Livingston settled a claim over rejection of concrete sound walls where the cracks were so tiny, you needed binoculars to see them.
Inspectors can get a little carried away sometimes, but there may be cracks in their contract requirements.

The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) awarded a contract to install concrete sound barrier walls along the Capitol Beltway. The manufacturer who supplied walls for this project produced defective walls on another, prior SHA project. SHA inspectors would only approve "crack-free" concrete walls for installation on the new job. Inspectors used binoculars, at a distance of merely 4 feet, to ascertain whether the concrete walls were literally "crack-free." Walls with cracks less than 1/16th the width of a human hair were rejected.

The contractor alleged "over-zealous" inspection. The government constructively changed the contract requirements by imposing a higher standard of quality than the contract, as reasonably interpreted, required. The contractor's work was disrupted and delayed.

Eventually, SHA approved installation of concrete walls containing fissures customarily found on concrete walls. SHA and the contractor negotiated a settlement after a few days of hearings at the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals.

Appeal of Apex Construction

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