Favorable Settlement of Construction Litigation
In an action pending in New York County Supreme Court, Robinson Brog lawyers Michael E. Greene and Michael A. Korn were able to successfully settle the action for the Firm's client on favorable terms, avoiding an impending trial. The plaintiff in the case alleged that the defendant (Robinson Brog's client) failed to make payments to the plaintiff under a contract for fencing materials and related work associated with a construction project along a New York City bridge. While our client acknowledged owing the plaintiff a small portion of the amount claimed, the client vigorously denied owing the full amount sought in the complaint, which ran into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. In a pre-trial memorandum that was served on opposing counsel and the Court just days before the trial was set to begin, we argued that the action should be dismissed in its entirety because, pursuant to the contract between the parties, the plaintiff's court lawsuit was improper. Under the contract, if the plaintiff believed that it was not paid, its only remedy would be to commence an arbitration, and if it was not satisfied with the arbitrator's decision, it could then commence a proceeding in Supreme Court to challenge the arbitrator's determination. However, a lawsuit for damages was not permitted under the contract, and therefore, the plaintiff's action failed to state a cause of action against the Firm's client. Upon opposing counsel's receipt of our pre-trial memorandum containing this argument, they engaged in more meaningful settlement discussions, and we eventually settled on terms that pleased the client.