In the never-ending saga that is the Silver Spring Transit Center, Montgomery County and Metro have teamed up to file a lawsuit for damages arising out of its design and construction. Bill Turque of the Post reports.
Montgomery County and Metro have filed a $166 million lawsuit against the companies that designed, built and inspected the Silver Spring Transit Center, contending that their “collective failure” led to five years of delays and $50 million in cost overruns to correct substandard work.
The long-anticipated, 62-page complaint, filed this week in Montgomery County Circuit Court, accuses designer Parsons Brinckerhoff, general contractor Foulger-Pratt, and construction inspection firm Robert B. Balter of multiple counts of negligence and breach of contract.
The first interesting thing to note is the fact that the County and Metro are on the same side.
The suit is also notable in that it aligns the county and Metro as plaintiffs. The two have been at odds over most of the past five years over the project, which was built by the county but will be operated by the transit agency.
Until a couple of weeks ago, Metro was seeking millions of dollars directly from the county to pay for additional maintenance and repair costs. It now appears that the two have settled their differences.
Given the amounts being claimed, I’d expect the case to drag on for a very long time. One interesting additional bit of information I was able to find online is that an outside counsel, William Nussbaum of the DC office of Saul Ewing, is involved in the case. From the online case information, it’s not clear whether Mr. Nussbaum was hired by the County, Metro, or both. I know from personal experience that when the County brings in outside counsel, approval of the County Council is required.
While I haven’t been able to find any such approval from the Council to retain Nussbaum thus far, he is listed as counsel for both the County and Metro in the online docket information. It would be interesting to know whether he was retained by the County, and if so, on what terms. That would shed some light on the County’s thinking in this matter. Stay tuned.