Jury Verdict in Favor of Heartland Community College in $1.6M Construction Litigation Claim

On February 21, 2017, a McLean County jury ruled in favor of Heartland Community College on 3 of 4 Counts in a $1.6+ million claim brought against it by its Peoria-based contractor in a construction litigation matter. Williams Brothers Construction, Inc. v. Bd. of Trustees of Heartland Community College, District 540, McLean Co., Case No. 11-L-180. Williams Brothers claimed that Heartland provided it faulty plans and specifications for the steel design of girders and scissor trusses and columns for a Fitness and Recreation Center and breached an implied warranty of plan sufficiency under the Spearin Doctrine. Williams Brothers also claimed delay damages of over $1.3 million, as well over $300,000 in damages associated with change directives and winter weather conditions. In this week long case tried by Matthew R. Booker and Andrew M. Ramage, assisted by Kevin J. Born, the jury ruled against Williams Brothers on its delay damages and change directive claims in their entirety and instead awarded it only $10,628 on its claim for damages to hangers caused by winter weather conditions.  After the verdict, Heartland President Rob Widmer said: "We are very pleased with the outcome. We feel we presented a stellar case from our perspective," and Heartland Board Chairman Gregg Chadwick called the verdict “better than any of us could’ve hoped for.”

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