The Richmond Register

July 9, 2013

Lawsuit against Richmond Utilities over unpaid bill dismissed

By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — Madison Circuit Court, at the request of the plaintiff, has dismissed a lawsuit against the Richmond Utilities Board over an unpaid contractor bill.

Layne Heavy Civil Inc. filed the suit Feb. 25. The company works with government and industrial clients to oversee design and construction of water and waste water treatment plants, according to the company’s website.

Layne oversaw the installation of two water pumps at the Richmond plant in 2008. Layne also performed a motor oil change on the pump units the following year, the suit stated.

One of the pump units failed in September 2011, and Layne submitted a bid proposal to replace or repair the machinery. The Richmond Utility Board accepted Layne’s bid and work was completed Jan. 5, 2012, according to court documents.

Layne billed the board $70,641 for the work, but payment was never received, the suit alleged. Richmond Utilities representatives alleged that Layne was responsible for the pump’s failure because the company’s workers installed the wrong type of motor oil in 2009, Layne’s attorneys stated in the suit.

Layne denied the allegation, stating the motor oil had been purchased by the city.

Layne offered Richmond Utilities credits totaling $15,274 in April 2012 and submitted a revised invoice of $55,366. However, no payment was received, the suit stated.

The contractor asked Madison Circuit Court to award either the original $70,641 owed or the $55,366 from the second invoice.

On April 24, attorneys representing Layne requested the lawsuit be dismissed without prejudice. The motion stated that the company reserved the right to assert claims about the remaining $15,366.41 in dispute, which is similar to the amount previously offered to the board as a bill credit.

Layne agreed to pay all court costs, according to the motion to dismiss.

The court documents do not state whether Richmond Utilities paid the $55,366 billed in the second invoice from Layne. Richmond Utilities Board attorney Greg Puckett did not immediately return a call requesting more information Tuesday.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.