Fletch's Sandblasting & Painting, Inc. v. Fay, Spofford and Thorndike d/b/a Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.
Filed successful motion to dismiss a design malpractice claim arising out of alleged defective specifications on a renovation project at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. The court’s decision may be found at 2019 WL 847731 (D. Me. Feb. 21, 2019).
Real Estate Law: Ambiguities in Ancient Deeds to Kennebunkport Beach Resolved in Favor of Town
We represented coastal landowners in a high-profile appeal before the Maine Supreme Court, in which the Town of Kennebunkport claimed ownership of Goose Rocks Beach against numerous homeowners whose deeds described property down to the low water mark. The case turned on the interpretation of deeds and legal doctrines dating back to the 1600s, including the original land patents from the English Crown to Sir Fernando Gorges creating the Province of Maine. The Law Court affirmed the Superior Court judgment, finding that title to the disputed beach is held by the town. In doing so, the Court appeared to manifest its growing policy preference for greater public access to Maine’s coast, particularly its sandy beaches. Almeder v. Town of Kennebunkport, 2019 ME 151.
Defense of Contractor - Davis-Bacon Prevailing Wage Claims
This case concerned the construction of a marine boat dock on an island in Boston Harbor. The Plaintiff claimed entitlement to unpaid wages and enhanced wages under the federal prevailing wage statute known as the Davis Bacon Act. The Plaintiff sought treble damages and legal fees.
Under the Davis Bacon Act construction workers on federally funded projects must be paid specified wage rates (classified according to each trade and the locale of the project) for time spent on the job site. In this case the Plaintiff argued he was not paid for time spent on the "site of the work" as defined in the statute. He also took the position that since the work of constructing the dock was performed from a barge, workers should be compensated at the federal Davis Bacon rates while the barge was en route to the island where the boat dock was being constructed, in addition to the time spend there with the barge anchored while it served as the work platform. The travel on the barge each day was about 3 hours for a round trip.
There were contested facts as to whether and when the Plaintiff was actually on the work site. There was a legal issue regarding the definition of the "site of the work" whether the mobile barge was the "site of the work" while in transit to the island. If the Plaintiff prevailed on any of his claims it would have opened the door to claims from other construction workers on this same project to file similar suits.
The case was tried before a Maine Superior Court Justice in June 2013. The Court issued a decision in August 2013 finding in favor of our client on all claims.
Successful Design and Construction Defects Claims for Large Hospital Client
We are successfully pursued claims in federal court seeking recovery of damages arising from defects in the design and construction of a $170 million addition to a Maine hospital complex. The case involved building envelope and mechanic design and construction defects. The matter was resolved prior to trial to a successful outcome.
Jury verdict awarding our client in excess of $900,000+ in U.S. District Court on behalf of a wrongfully terminated general contractor
Our client was the prime contractor for construction of a new clay lined landfill in rural Vermont. The Owner terminated the contractor shortly before substantial completion and filed suit for completion costs. We countersued for wrongful termination and breach of contract. We pursued damages for lost profits on the project, termination costs, and delay damages. The jury found in our client's favor following a three week trial in Burlington. The jury award approximately 90% of the damages claimed for a total of $923,000. [J.A. McDonald v. WSI Moretown Landfill, Inc.]
- Arbitration award of a differing site conditions and delay claim which earned headlines in newspapers for a "KO" of the adverse party.
Contractor Prevails at Trial on Breach of Contract Claims and Gets Legal Fees Awarded
Our contractor/real estate developer client was sued in New Hampshire state court by the owner for breach of a of a $2 million design/build contract. Our client also asserted a counterclaim for breach of contract claim. Each party asserted claims for breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing Following a three-day trial, the Court ruled in our client's favor for $395,000 and legal fees of approximately $91,000 stemming from the plaintiff's bad faith conduct. The matter is currently on appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court. [Rudyak et al v. Bearfoot Creek, LLC and Cheboygan Properties, LLC, Carroll County, NH Superior Court, Docket No. 212-2016,CV-00002]
Successful Defense of Claims for Delays, Owner Interference and Extra Work
The Jackson Laboratory, a global leader in genetic research, retained us to assist it with claims arising from construction of its $70 million state-of the art vivarium facility including late completion by its construction manager (CM). The CM alleged that our client interfered with its work by dictating means and methods of construction and sought compensation for project delays and extra work attributed to alleged defects in the plans and specifications put forward by our client's architect and engineers. We took an aggressive approach by filing suit in federal court shortly after completion of the project tackling head on the weak technical arguments put forward by the contractor for its claims for additional compensation. Our approached focus on contractor caused delays and inattention to means and methods of construction. This strategy resulted in an early mediation with a very favorable outcome for our client with a global resolution of the dispute achieved within six months of substantial completion.
Age Discrimination Case in the Health Care Industry
Verrill Dana's Litigation Team successfully represented a healthcare institution in an age discrimination case brought by a former doctor. The case wound its way from Federal Court, to Maine Superior Court to the Maine Supreme Court. The doctor argued that the reasons for his termination were pretextual and that he had been defamed during proceedings that resulted in his termination. The Federal Court dismissed the doctor's federal claims and the Superior Court granted summary judgment on the doctor's state law claims. The Supreme Court affirmed the Superior Court's grant of summary judgment, rejecting the plaintiff's novel procedural arguments.
Computer Based Banking Patent Dispute
We represented the U.S. division of a large international bank, in both federal District Court and on appeal to the Federal Circuit, in a patent dispute concerning computer-based banking transactions. We prevailed on key claim constructions, won summary judgment, and preserved the victory on appeal.
Medical Device Patent Dispute
We represented a large medical device manufacturer in a six-patent dispute involving nearly a dozen accused devices for thoraco-lumbar spinal fixation. We prevailed on every single Markman claim construction and then won at trial.
Patent Litigation: Software
Represented company that provides intelligent video monitoring products who sued larger competitor for infringement of patent related to video monitoring and for theft of trade secrets in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California; case settled favorably during fact discovery after Mr. Stern took key deposition of engineering employee of defendant.
Patent Litigation: Telecommunications
Defended large telecommunication company in patent litigation in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas brought by a competitor over eight patents relating to encryption, unified communications, messaging, and audio and video codecs; filed four petitions for Inter Partes Review with the Patent Office, and obtained institution on all of them; case settled favorably shortly thereafter.
Patent Litigation: Telecommunications
Defended three major telecommunications companies against patent claims relating to VoIP technology in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas; took lead in preparing pretrial filings and assisted with trial witness preparation; case was settled after the third day of trial for a fraction of the original demand.