News & Events

Chicago, December 19, 2019

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys Win $1.5 Million in Construction Breach of Contract Case

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP attorneys won a $1.5 million award and defeated a $3.9 million counterclaim following a week of oral hearings tried before the AAA Construction Industry Tribunal.

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP represented G&L Associates, Inc. in a dispute with general contractor, James McHugh Construction Company. The dispute arose from a 13-story mixed-use construction project known as Vue53, located in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. The arbitrator issued a 44-page award following a week of live testimony from eight fact and expert witnesses. The arbitration resulted in a net judgment of $1,501,471.63 in favor of G&L, including an award of attorneys’ fees and administrative fees.

McHugh, the general contractor for the Vue53 project, subcontracted G&L to supply and install certain exterior architectural metal panels for the project. McHugh refused to pay G&L over $1 million, despite accepting G&L’s work. After G&L initiated a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County for payment of McHugh’s breach of contract, McHugh sought arbitration and filed a counterclaim seeking over $3.9 million against G&L and bondholder Hanover Insurance Company. McHugh asserted that G&L and Hanover should bear responsibility for alleged delays on the project. G&L denied McHugh’s counterclaim, and argued McHugh caused the claimed delays on the project. G&L also argued that McHugh had previously received compensation for the damages claimed in McHugh’s counterclaim by way of a separate settlement agreement with the building owner. The award resulted in a net judgment against McHugh of $1,501,471.63 after offsets of McHugh’s partial counterclaim award. (Cook County Case No. 2018 CH 03016).

At the arbitration, G&L Associates, Inc. was represented by Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP, partners A. Jay Koehler and Michael A. McCaskey. Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP associates David J. Welch, Edward J. Keating and Benjamin D. Lothson also represented G&L Associates.

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