Hattiesburg owes construction company for contract breach

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Forrest County Circuit Judge Bob Helfrich ruled Friday that the City of Hattiesburg owes Precision Construction Company 868,719.20 dollars.

"The judge properly said he's going to enforce the arbitration award as it was rendered, except for one small math error, which we agreed needed to be adjusted," said Precision's attorney Mark Herbert of Jackson's Jones-Walker firm.

Precision sued the city for breach of contract earlier this year, but the city never awarded the company, despite signing an agreement that said they would, according to Precision's counsel Shannon McFarland.

The city hired Precision to work on a sewer line replacement that stretched from the old Hercules Plant to Timothy Lane and Broadway Drive. Several unforeseen obstacles caused a delay of project, yet Precision claimed they were told by city engineers to continue the project regardless. However, the project was not finished by Precision.

Attorney Jim Gladden, who represented the city in Friday's hearing, said he anticipates an appeal to the state supreme court, but he said he would need to first consult the city council and administration.

"They technically have the right to appeal, but I hope they won't because they will lose in the supreme court again," said Herbert. "And (eight percent) interest is running on the judgement, and so it's just going to cost the city more and more and more the longer they go on."

Copyright 2014 WDAM. All rights reserved.