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Construction company sues over stadium delay

Alleges Quebec firm at fault for extra season at Canad Inns

Investors Group Field: originally supposed to open in 2012

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Investors Group Field: originally supposed to open in 2012

2Stuart Olson Dominion Construction filed a statement of claim in Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench against Quebec-based Structal Heavy Steel for special and general damages, which currently is at more than $14.3 million.

Dominion is also suing Structal for $1 million in punitive damages for what it alleges were the steel company's "capricious, high-handed, malicious, oppressive and arbitrary manner for the purposes of its own interest."

Dominion, which has its head office in Calgary and has construction-management offices in Winnipeg, is claiming because of construction delays, allegedly caused by Structal, Investors Group Field did not open in time for the Blue Bombers this past season, forcing the team to spend one more season at Canad Inns Stadium.

The lawsuit also alleges the delays led to other extra costs, including fixing water-damaged portions of the facility that had already been constructed and having to store stadium seating until they could be installed.

Evan Johnson, vice-president and general counsel of the Churchill Corporation, the parent company of Stuart Olson Dominion, would only verify "we have sued Structal and it relates to the Winnipeg stadium job."

As to the punitive damages sought, Johnson said "punitive is in the statement of claim.

"We wouldn't have put it there if we had not thought that through."

A spokesman for Structal said the company does not comment on issues before the courts.

In the court documents, Dominion said it entered into a contract with BBB Stadium Inc. to be the construction manager of the stadium construction on Dec. 17, 2010.

Dominion said on Feb. 2, 2011, after a tending and bidding process, it agreed to pay Structal more than $44 million to supply and install structural steel, a roof bow-truss scheme, precast bleachers and vomitory walls to allow people to enter and leave the stadium seating area.

Dominion alleges it told Structal the clock was ticking and the construction had to begin on Dec. 3, 2010, and be substantially finished by June 1, 2012.

Dominion alleges not only were these dates not met, but Structal also cost Dominion extra money because of the delays, including water damage to east suites due to the roof not being finished, and temporary winter heating.

The allegations have not been proven in court and no statement of defence has been filed.

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

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