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CIG CONTRACTORS, INC. v. MISSISSIPPI STATE BUILDING COMMISSION

JULY 15, 1987

CIG CONTRACTORS, INC.
v.
MISSISSIPPI STATE BUILDING COMMISSION



BEFORE WALKER, C.J., DAN LEE AND PRATHER, JJ.

DAN LEE, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

CIG Contractors, Inc. (CIG) appeals an adverse judgment rendered in the Circuit Court of Hinds County in favor of the Mississippi State Building Commission. CIG sought $58,953.35, plus overhead, taxes and a percentage for profit, as additional compensation for corrective work it performed to complete its construction contract for the Chemistry Building on the University of Mississippi campus. The Circuit Court, sitting without a jury by stipulation, granted judgment for the Building Commission. We affirm.

CIG argues five assignments of error on appeal, but we consolidate them into two topics for purposes of our discussion.

 I.

 FACTS

 The suit giving rise to this appeal represents an attempt by CIG to receive compensation for having to tear out and replace concrete it had poured as part of the basement floor, as well as having to fill and compact additional soil beneath the concrete, during its part of construction of the chemistry building on the campus of the University of Mississippi.

 It is the second time this particular case has come before this Court. In CIG Contractors, Inc. v. Mississippi State Building Commission, 399 So.2d 1352 (Miss. 1981), this Court reversed the sustaining of a demurrer to CIG's initial complaint. Upon retrial CIG added a second count, discussed infra.

 On February 17, 1975, CIG entered into a construction contract with the owner, Mississippi State Building Commission

 (hereinafter "the Commission"), to build the "Physical Science Facility, Science Center, Phase IV, University of Mississippi" (hereinafter referred to as the "chemistry building"). The contract entered into was an American Institute of Architects Document A101, "Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Contract," 1974 edition. The contract documents consist of the above agreement, the Conditions of the Contract (General and Supplementary), the drawings for the project, and the specifications for the project, as well as all addenda and modifications.

 The State Building Commission entered into several contracts with various contractors for different parts of the project. CIG bid for and was awarded the contract for general contract work. B. J. Lee Mechanical Contractors, Inc. bid for and was awarded the contract for the mechanical and plumbing work. Another separate contract was let for the electrical work.

 CIG contracted to excavate and prepare the site, the soil to support the concrete slab, pour the slab and walls, perform masonry work, carpentry, millwork, moisture control and install the doors, windows and glass. Under the project specifications CIG was also responsible for de-watering operations at the construction site.

 When the basement floor and some of the upper floors had been partially completed, in December 1975 a routine inspection revealed the first hint of the problem which brought about this litigation.

 Subsequent tests and inspections made it apparent that soil beneath the basement floor had either eroded or settled, creating voids between the concrete and the ground. Rainwater falling on top of the building and in the excavation area undisputedly penetrated beneath the basement floor which led to the soil problems.

 These problems could only be corrected by breaking out the basement concrete slab in several spots and replacing the soil, slab and related construction. The trial court found that the damage was substantial, a finding not challenged on appeal.

 CIG was not the only contractor affected. Soil around some of B. J. Lee's pipes also needed repair. The Commission ordered that each contractor repair the damage to its own work. Each contractor was instructed to keep up with its costs and after the repairs were completed, an evaluation would be made to determine responsibility for them. At no point ...


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