Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Friday, February 21, 2014
Judge rules against amphitheater architect

The village got part of what it wanted at a trial last week against the architect of the ICE Amphitheater at Founders Park.

But the village's quest for damages from the now-defunct firm of Brown Demandt is ongoing.

Monroe County Chief Circuit Judge Luis Garcia ruled against architect Bob Brown individually and against the Brown Demandt firm in their own claims for damages, according to Nina Boniske, who represented the villlage in the case.

Brown and his ex-firm, in which he partnered with Frank Demandt, had asked that the village be made to pay them a total of $70,000 for work performed beyond the confines of the contract.

Boniske said Brown's claims hinged on work that was never authorized by the Village Council, as would have been required of any contractual change in excess of $10,000. Garcia ruled that the village can now go after Brown Demandt for attorney's fees related to the issue.

On a separate village claim for damages against Brown Demandt, Garcia gave the parties 20 days to submit written closing arguments.

The village is seeking $150,000, which is the amount Brown Demandt received from Great American Insurance in exchange for the provider being allowed to drop its porfessional liability coverage of the architectural firm.

The liability insurance would have protected the village against a claim from Intercoastal Contracting, which was the original amphitheater builder.

Garcia ruled last year that Brown Demandt did indeed violate its contract when it gave up its professional liability insurance.

The village began work on the amphitheater in 2002 but halted the project in 2004 amid conflicts with Brown and Intercoastal Contracting. In 2006, ICE, or Island Community Entertainment, finished the project. That same year, litigation began between Brown, Intercoastal and the village.

The village paid Intercoastal $135,000 in October as a settlement in the suit, leaving only Brown and Brown Demandt as opposing parties.

rsilk@keysnews.com

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