Thursday, November 29, 2012

Inland Waters Settle Claims and Pending Litigation with Detroit, Cleared to Bid New Work (UPDATED)

Late Wednesday [11/28], the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department announced in a press release (here), that it had agreed to settle all pending claims and litigation against Inland Waters Pollution Control, Inland Management, Inc., and Inland Pipe Rehabilitation, LLC for $4.5 million. 
Inland, in a separate statement released on November 27th, reported that the $4.5 settlement with the Department resolved claims that were in excess of $380 million. 

Inland Waters, Inland Management, and Inland Pipe Rehabilitation were among 13 contractors originally suspended by the Board of Water Commissioners on December 21, 2011. The Board reversed itself three weeks later on January 11, 2012, and lifted the suspension on 5 of the 13 contractors, including Inland Waters Pollution Control, Inc. 

Inland Waters is still one of over three dozen Defendants in a federal lawsuit filed on July 18, 2011 by the Macomb Interceptor Drain Drainage District that remains pending. The allegations in that lawsuit focus on the cost of repairing a sewer line that collapsed in 2004.   However, several recent decisions in that case have gone against Macomb, and its questionable now whether the Drainage District will be able to continue its lawsuit against Inland Waters and the other 40 contractors in that case.  

Comment: I'm not familiar with all of the claims made by the City of Detroit in the federal litigation against Inland Waters, but if the City's claims were on the order of $380 million (a number that seems very high, but probably includes alleged treble (3x) damages), Inland's $4.5 million settlement was a pretty good deal. Maybe even a great deal. The settlement amount was less than  $0.02 on the dollar! And, even better, Inland has been declared to be a Responsible Vendor, cleared just in time to bid on two new sewer repair contracts the Department is planning to advertise for bids in December, Contracts DWS-886, and DWS-887. 

What do you think about the terms of Inland's settlement? Was this a good deal for DWSD?

Update (1/7/13): The Department is now planning to advertise four (4) new sewer repair contracts during Q1 of 2013 -- DWS-886, DWS-887, DWS-889, and DWS-890. 

Update (2/25/13): The Inland Waters settlement is featured in Crain's Detroit Business (here) as one of the biggest legal settlements of 2012. 

For more about DWSD Update, click here.  


John McGrail said...

Inland in its various forms worked on DWSD contracts for at least 15 years but I cannot recall that the firm's total contract value ever exceeded $100 million on all those contracts. Therefore I cannot grasp where the $380 million claim amount came from. Suffice to say that it was a good thing that the Board developed sufficient backbone to chase down and recover from a malefactor regardless of the amount recovered.

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