CHARLESTON – An Ohio drilling company has filed a notice of intent to sue with the West Virginia Department of Transportation for failure to pay nearly $500,000 for work done.
BBR Drilling of Belmont, Ohio, sent a letter via certified mail March 18 to state Commissioner of Highways Byrd E. White III and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
The letter says BBR has submitted bids that were accepted for many projects in West Virginia. It says BBR entered valid contracts with the Department of Transportation and the state to complete the projects, and then the company began and completed the work as required in each contract.
“Unfortunately, the State of West Virginia has not adhered to the contract and has failed to pay BBR Drilling Inc. as required,” the letter states. “Due to this failure to pay, BBR Drilling Inc. is now owed approximately $459,906.23 from the State of West Virginia for work it has completed pursuant to eight valid contracts throughout the state.
“BBR Drilling Inc. has made several inquiries to the state to receive payment on these delinquent accounts without resolution.”
The letter also said the failure to timely pay “threatens the survival of BBR Drilling Inc. and further affects its ability to bid new jobs resulting in a loss of prospective income.”
The letter is signed by Teresa Toriseva, a Wheeling attorney who represents the company.
“It’s our hope that the West Virginia Division of Highways will take advantage of this pre-suit notice to avoid the filing of a lawsuit,” she told The West Virginia Record. “The road work was done, the money is due under contract, and litigation would be expensive and unnecessary for both sides. We hope to avoid it.
“However, the non-payment has continued to the point that my client has to get paid or proceed to enforce the contract in court. This type of delinquency affects company operations going forward and could threaten the jobs of a reputable state road contractor if allowed to continue.”
The letter says legal action would seek payment owed, damages, costs and attorney fees. The company can file its complaint against the state after 30 days.
“As an alternative to filing suit, we would request a meeting to identify all contracts with payments due, the amounts due and a plan setting out how these payments will be made,” the letter concludes.