The Washington Court of Appeals, Division I has reversed the award of $1.1 million plus interest for attorney fees in the public works construction dispute between the City of Puyallup and Conway Construction Company. In March of 2016, safety concerns and defective work led the City to terminate Conway’s contract for the 39th Avenue South road improvement project.
In 2018, a decision entered at Pierce County Superior Court awarded Conway $2.27 million, including $1.1 million in attorney fees and costs. The City appealed the decision, maintaining it had appropriately and properly terminated Conway from the project due to safety violations and other failures to perform. The City also contended that the trial court erred in awarding attorney fees and costs as part of the judgment.
In a decision issued May 4th, the Court of Appeals denied the City’s appeal with respect to the construction costs awarded Conway for defective work that had to be undone and redone. At the same time, the Court of Appeals determined that “…Conway is not entitled to recover attorney fees …” and reversed the previous $1.1 million award to Conway for such costs.