MAPP Construction LLC has sued the architects that designed the improvements at Baton Rouge Magnet High School, claiming an incomplete and defective design led to delays and cost MAPP as much as $6.2 million.
In the lawsuit, filed Sept. 13 in 19th Judicial District Court, MAPP asks for damages from Chenevert Architects LLC and founding partner Norman Chenevert; Remson-Haley-Herpin Architects and Samuel J. Herpin, a principal in the firm; and a joint venture between Chenevert Architects and Remson-Haley-Herpin.
The lawsuit said the architects breached their contract with MAPP by providing “incomplete, inaccurate, deficient and otherwise defective” plans.
In its lawsuit, MAPP said it relied on documents the firms provided to estimate the project’s cost, the time it would take, and to bid the project.
MAPP won the right to do the Baton Rouge Magnet High work with a bid of $45.9 million and signed the contract June 23, 2010. The company was given 700 days to complete the additions and renovations to the school. The contract also included penalties if MAPP didn’t meet the deadline.
MAPP said it quickly encountered problems with the design.
At a July 19, 2010, pre-construction meeting, MAPP alleges it was advised the “drawings aren’t perfect and there are going to be changes.”
Eventually, seven “addenda” in seven volumes were issued, each containing numerous design changes and alterations to plans and specifications, the lawsuit said.
The design problems included at least 1,322 “clashes” or interferences involving duct work, the lawsuit said. In addition, the electrical, plumbing and mechanical components had to be redesigned when it turned out there wasn’t enough room above the ceilings to accommodate the earlier design.
The frequent changes forced MAPP to submit a number of requests for information to find out how the architects wanted to proceed.
The result was more construction delays, duplicated work and higher expenses, the lawsuit said. When MAPP asked for more time to complete its work, the architects refused to recommend or grant the company more time.
On Aug. 7, MAPP received a punch list with “exorbitantly inflated values” of the corrections needed, the lawsuit said. When MAPP asked for a copy of the work papers used to show the changes’ cost, the architects refused to provide them; they also told MAPP it would not be paid for any of the punch list items until the entire list was completed.
MAPP said as a result of the design problems and changes, a number of its subcontractors have not been paid on time or have not been paid for the additional work required by changes in the plans.
MAPP’s relationships with many subcontractors have been damaged or destroyed, the lawsuit said.
The subcontractors have filed around 30 public works liens for $9.6 million, the lawsuit said. As a result, MAPP has had to buy lien release bonds in order to get its money from the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board.
MAPP said it’s also entitled to recover the lien-related expenses.
MAPP said the defendants should have to pay $4.2 million for excess and unrecovered costs and losses and an estimated $2 million in other damages.
MAPP attorney Gray Sexton said the company has not sued the School Board and hopes to resolve those issues by agreement.
Attempts to reach the architects’ attorneys were not successful Wednesday.