CHARLESTON – A jury awarded $4.3 million to the plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Sanitary Board of the City of Charleston.

A jury found that the Charleston Sanitary Board breached its contract with J.F. Allen Corporation and that Burgess & Niple Inc. breached its standard of care as a professional engineer owed to J.F. Allen, according to the jury verdict form filed in the Business Court Division of Kanawha Circuit Court.

The jury found that J.F. Allen did all or substantially all of the significant things that the contract required it to do and that all conditions required for the Charleston Sanitary Board’s performance had occurred.

The jury awarded $1.3 million with pre-judgment interest to J.F. Allen from the Charleston Sanitary Board.

Burgess & Niple was found to be 90 percent at fault relating to its breach of standard of care and the jury awarded $3 million for damages suffered by J.F. Allen due to Burgess & Niple’s negligence.

J.F. Allen originally filed the lawsuit against the defendants in 2014, after it did not receive compensation for work performed between 2012 and 2013.

J.F. claimed it sought additional compensation for extra, non-contractual work that it maintained was required by the sanitary board and for increased costs that resulted from numerous delays and disruptions encountered during the project. The sanitary board refused the request.

The lawsuit was originally dismissed by Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman. It was appealed to the Supreme Court, who reversed the decision and sent it to Kanawha Circuit Judge Joanna Tabit and the Business Court Division.

J.F. is represented by Charles M. Johnstone II and Johnson W. Gabhart of Johnstone & Gabhart.

The defendants were represented by David Allen Barnette and Vivian H. Basdekis of Jackson Kelly.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 14-C-1182

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Jackson Kelly PLLC West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals




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