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Missouri contractor moves to compel arbitration in city case

After the City of Cape Girardeau, Missouri filed a lawsuit against a Poplar Bluff contractor, the contractor has filed a motion requesting that the court compels the city to go to arbitration and to dismiss the lawsuit. The contractor also filed a countersuit for up to $1.5 million if the case continues in court.

In February, Cape Girardeau filed a lawsuit against the contractor. The city is seeking to recover $596,000 in damages from the contractor because it claims that a road construction project was not completed on time. The city claims that the project was completed 122 days after when it was due. It also alleges that the contractor did not meet the extended deadlines that were given.

The contractor argues that the city was responsible for the relocation of utilities within the work zone, and its failure to properly coordinate the relocation of the utilities caused the delay of the project and its completion. The counterclaim also states that the city withheld its final payment and that the contract contains a provision calling for binding arbitration.

Contractual disputes occasionally arise between the contracting parties. When the breaches are of a minor nature, they might be resolved through negotiation so that the parties can continue performing their obligations under the contract. When they are major, the parties may have to litigate the issues in court or arbitration in an effort to obtain financial recovery of the damages that resulted from the breach. Business law attorneys who practice contract law and litigation may be able to assist their clients with drafting and reviewing contracts. If the contracts are breached, the attorneys may work to recover damages for their clients.

Source: SE Missourian, "Contractor calls for arbitration in dispute with City of Cape over street project," Mark Bliss, April 17, 2018.

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