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Fabricator seeks additional $2M in suit

Keywords: Tags  ISC, BNSF, Walsh Construction, steel, fabrication, bridge, Frank Haflich

LOS ANGELES — An Illinois structural steel fabricator that slapped a lien on a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co. (BNSF) bridge in Iowa is seeking additional compensation from the railroad for work it performed in the construction of the $61.5-million bridge.

Industrial Steel Construction Inc. (ISC), Hodgkins, Ill., filed a $2.3-million mechanic’s lien against the Fort Worth, Texas-based railroad last June, according to documents filed May 13 in U.S. District Court in Iowa. ISC is now seeking an additional minimum of $2 million stemming from what it alleges is BNSF’s failure to compensate ISC for its additional costs above an "estimated value" of its work, according to the documents.

ISC signed a $21.8-million purchase order agreement in July 2010 with Chicago-based general contractor Walsh Construction Co. II LLC to "procure and fabricate" the steel for a railroad bridge over the Mississippi River at Burlington, Iowa, according to ISC’s lawsuit.

ISC alleges in its complaint that the purchase order price was based "entirely on the representation" that it involved "preliminary estimates" for the steel and would be adjusted if they were exceeded, based on an "industry standard" determined by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC).

ISC submitted a claim to Walsh in May 2012 for "additional compensation due to increased quantities in fabricated steel required for the job, which raised the total purchase order price to $24.3 million," the company said.

Despite "numerous" efforts in early 2012 to explain its claim to Walsh and BNSF, the railroad "repeatedly denied" claims for a "recomputation" based on the AISC guidelines, ISC said.

In addition to the mechanic’s lien, ISC has requested an additional judgment of nearly $2.01 million plus interest and other costs, including legal expenses and the cost of enforcing the lien. ISC also has requested that the project be sold in foreclosure and the proceeds used to satisfy any judgment.

BNSF told AMM that it "will respond through the legal process." Attorneys for ISC could not be reached for comment.

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