Contractor says Sabine Pass school hasn't paid for renovations

By David Yates | May 10, 2007

Nearly two years after the renovation of the Sabine Pass Athletic Complex, ICI Construction claims that it still hasn't received full payment of the $1.8 million the school district owes for the gym's restoration.

According to the plaintiff's petition, filed with the Jefferson County District Court on May 8, the Sabine Pass Independent School District and ICI entered into a $1.7 million contract to renovate the gym back in 2003.

During the construction, district officials would request modifications and additions to the design. ICU would itemize the supplementary costs and tack them on to the original contract as change orders, the suit said.

"The district promised that such changes would be paid for through change orders," the suit said. "ICI complied with the district's verbal instructions and performed the changes they were directed to perform."

The project and all the changes directed by the district were completed by Sept. 23, 2005. In light of all the changes, the amount of the contract had been upped from $1.7 million to $1,867,295, the suit said.

"However, the district has refused to pay ICI for the changes," the suit said. "Such action constitutes a breach of contract."

A copy of the contract attached to the suit did note the original agreement ($1.7 million), plus two change orders.

The three count suit faults SPISD for breaching its contract, quantum meruit and violating the Texas Government Code.

Quantum meruit, a law term meaning "as much as he has deserved." When a person employs another to do work for him, without any agreement as to his compensation, the law implies a promise from, the employer to the workman that he will pay him for his services, as much as be may deserve or merit, according to a law library Web site.

In this case, ICI claims its owed $123,604 in damages, plus attorney fees.

The plaintiff is represented by attorney James Old, Jr. of the Germer Gertz law firm.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th Judicial District, will preside over the case.

Case No. D179-270

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