[StBernard] Sub-contractor claims construction group breached $5 million contract

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Wed Jan 19 09:56:51 EST 2011

Sub-contractor claims construction group breached $5 million contract
1/18/2011 7:10 PM By Alejandro de los Rios
A Chalmette construction firm claims that the company that hired it to work
on a New Orleans high school has broken a $5 million contract, according to
a suit filed in Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

A&A Mechanical Inc. filed a lawsuit against Satterfield & Pontikes
Construction Group (S&P) and project manager Chris Head claiming that Head
demanded kickbacks after assigning a mechanical job to A&A.

New Orleans attorneys Minor Pipes III and Keith Magness filed the 12-page
petition for damages on Jan. 6. The case has been assigned to Orleans Parish
Chief Judge Lloyd Medley.

The lawsuit claims that A&A and S&P entered into a contract worth just over
$5.3 million to help in constructing L.B. Landry High School in New Orleans,
run by the state-operated Recovery School District. The contract stated that
5 percent, or $296,478.61, was to be paid when work was completed.

A&A claims that it "performed all work in a good and workmanlike manner" but
that S&P has failed to pay the remainder of the contract. The plaintiffs
also claim that S&P asked them to perform extra work at a cost in excess of
$525,000, according to the suit.

The lawsuit claims that Head "approached the principles of A&A and demanded
side payments of cash and other benefits from A&A as a kickback on this job"
and that, if refused, Head "would make things 'difficult' for A&A."

The suit claims that A&A contacted George Pontikes, the "member/manager" of
S&P, but that "neither he nor any other S&P official did anything."

The petition states that, after refusing to provide Head with kickbacks, he
denied A&A's employees from entering the jobsite as well as "systematically
refused A&A's applications for payment," among other charges.

The suit names seven causes of action against S&P, including violating the
Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices by soliciting kickbacks, contract breach
and unjust enrichment.

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