WVU Board of Governors says architect breached purchase orders

MORGANTOWN - The West Virginia University Board of Governors is suing Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott after it claims the architect breached purchase orders, delayed one of WVU’s facility projects and ran significantly over budget. On Oct. 24, 2002, the West Virginia University Research Corporation issued a purchase order to Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott for the design and construction of the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute at West Virginia University, according to a complaint filed Nov. 19 in Monongalia Circuit Court. The Board of Governors claims multiple change orders were subsequently issued from 2004 until 2007, increasing the compensation paid and delaying the project. The BRNI facility project ran significantly behind schedule and over budget, resulting in critical pathway delays and the need for change orders and were due to material errors and omissions committed by and/or attributable to the defendant, according to the suit. The Board claims the material breaches of the architect’s duties adversely impacted the contract between WVU and its general contractor. Shepley’s services were not performed with the ordinary skill, care and diligence commensurate with that rendered by members of the profession in the same or similar circumstances, according to the suit. The Board claims the initial overall project budget, including compensation to Shepley, was $20 million, but because of Shepley’s errors, it ended up being $29,950,694.59. The Board is seeking full and complete relief from the defendant by way of money damages, together with interest in the amount of at least $1,184,500. It is being represented by Charles J. Crooks and Wendy G. Adkins. Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 12-C-807

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