BC Place stadium’s steel contractor made it official on February 22, filing an amended statement of claim in the BC Supreme Court for almost $40 million against the company it hired to install roof support cables, Business in Vancouver has learned.
The new filing by Quebec’s Canam Group seeks $39,720,765 from Freyssinet Canada and its French parent company for cost overruns on the stadium renovation.
Freyssinet originally sued Canam for $6.5 million in October 2011, also naming general contractor PCL Constructors Westcoast and the taxpayer-owned stadium’s operator BC Pavilion Corp. (PavCo) as defendants.
Canam countersued for $26,154,364 for the additional costs of completing work, including delays and changes in construction methodology, engineering and the costs of repair of defects and deficiencies in the hardware materials and equipment. The amended February 22 counterclaim is for costs Canam said it has incurred through the end of January 2013.
“Canam, at its own cost and expense, corrected the result of many of Freyssinet’s breaches and negligence,” said the third amended response to Freyssinet’s civil claim.
Freyssinet, according to Canam, “did not have the requisite or in fact any relevant experience on projects involving the use of fully locked cable as a structural component.”
The claim reads, “(Freyssinet) failed to disclose to Canam that Freyssinet had been rejected by PCL in March 2009 as a pre-qualified bidder to PCL for the supply and installation of the cable work.”
The new filings include the additional charge that Freyssinet breached its duty to warn Canam that it did not have the experience to properly do the job and that the cost and time to perform the cable work “would likely increase significantly.”
“Freyssinet’s breaches of the bid contract and subcontract, breaches of Freyssinet’s representations to Canam and breaches of Freyssinet’s duty of care delayed Canam’s performance of the cable work by approximately 12 weeks,” said the filings, submitted by Canam lawyer Stuart Hankinson of Vancouver law firm Shapiro, Hankinson and Knutson.
Additionally, the third amended counterclaim says the estimated remediation cost, as of January 2013, for “cables supplied by the plaintiff that leaked and continue to leak oil and grease,” has jumped from $14 million to $20 million.
In January, Hankinson told a judicial management hearing that the insurer is investigating whether it should pay for repairs of the grease-stained roof. Several panels were replaced last summer.
A 100-day trial is scheduled to begin October 21 in the BC Supreme Court before Justice Gregory Bowden.
In January, B.C. auditor-general John Doyle received a complaint from NDP critic Spencer Chandra Herbert about the budgets and costs of the stadium renovation. Doyle began a fact-finding investigation.
A January 8, 2008, letter from PavCo chairman David Podmore to Dominion Construction vice-president Wayne Henderson said the $75 million phase one budget included replacement of the air-supported fabric roof. A $365 million budget was announced a year later, which included a new retractable roof system. After increasing the budget to $563 million, the government claimed in August 2012 that the final price was $514 million.
The Vancouver Whitecaps are schedule to open their second full season at BC Place on March 2 against Toronto FC.
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