Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Monday, March 28, 2011
Navy housing builder sued
Subcontractor says it's owed $440K

A company that is building Navy housing failed to pay a Big Pine Key construction company more than $440,000 for subcontract work it did at Trumbo Point, according to a federal lawsuit filed Monday.

Bat Construction Group alleges that Balfour Beatty Construction subcontracted it to do roadwork and site preparation work in 2008 and 2009, but failed to pay $440,821, according to the lawsuit.

Balfour Beatty is constructing 111 new stilted homes in Trumbo Point just east of the Navy Gateway Inns Suites, locally known as the Fly Navy building, on a strip of land across from Garrison Bight that will be used as military housing, said Balfour Beatty Vice President Carl Frinzi.

Frinzi declined to comment on the case because Balfour Beatty had not been officially served with the lawsuit.

"We deny the charges that they have raised and we plan to defend it," Frinzi said. "I can't comment beyond that."

Bat Construction tried to no avail to get Balfour Beatty to pay without resorting to the lawsuit, said attorney Gavin Caddy of Hollywood.

"There was a significant letter-writing exchange between both parties prior to the lawsuit," Caddy said.

The lawsuit also names a group of sureties acquired by Balfour Beatty that includes Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. of America, The Insurance Co. of the State of Pennsylvania, Fidelity and Deposit Co. of Maryland, Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. and Federal Insurance Co. A surety is a promise by one party to pay a certain amount if a second party fails to fulfill the terms of a contract.

Bat did not specifically ask for a jury trial, meaning a judge could decide the matter should the case go to court. U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez will hear the case.

The new three- and four-bedroom homes built on the site range from 1,900 square feet to 2,500 square feet and replace older structures that were built during and after the Korean War in the 1950s.

alinhardt@keysnews.com

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