HUNTINGTON -– A Barboursville excavation company says it was shorted nearly $700,000 for work it performed on a new middle school and then subjected to an unwarranted state investigation to justify the withheld money.

Dirtworks Development filed a lawsuit against BBL-Carlton in Cabell Circuit Court.

The plaintiffs claim they were hired by BBL-Carlton as a subcontractor on July 25, 2007 for the construction of the new Barboursville Middle School.

Dirtworks claims the contract with BBL-Carlton contained specific jobs it would be required to complete on the job.

But after the work commenced, Dirtworks contends BBL-Carlton began ordering its workers to do work outside of the contract.

Throughout the project, Dirtworks alleges it submitted pay applications to BBL-Carlton for pay for percentages of work completed. But BBL-Carlton repeatedly refused to pay up, claiming that less work had been completed than what Dirtworks was charging for.

Meanwhile, BBL-Carlton would represent to the Cabell County Board of Education that Dirtworks had completed jobs and got money from the board to pay Dirtworks, but would then withhold the money, the complaint says.

BBL-Carlton also refused to pay Dirtworks for those jobs it completed that were outside the scope of the contract, the complaint says.

In an attempt to justify not paying Dirtworks, the plaintiffs allege that BBL-Carlton called the state Division of Labor and claimed that Dirtworks was violating state prevailing wage laws.

The complaint says Dirtworks was investigated, and cleared, on two occasions by the state.

Nevertheless, BBL-Carlton continued to refuse to pay, even after mediation, according to the complaint.

Dirtworks is seeking more than $634,983 in compensatory damages from BBL-Carlton.

The case is before Cabell Circuit Judge David Pancake.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 09-C-283

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