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Colorado Springs countersues contractor of Pikes Peak Summit Complex for ‘defective work’

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The City of Colorado Springs and a general contractor are facing off in court, with both parties alleging the other broke its contract during the construction of the Pikes Peak Summit Complex.

On March 8, GE Johnson Construction, which was hired by the City of Colorado Springs as the contractor to build the Summit Complex, filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the city in district court.

In its lawsuit, GE Johnson claimed it wasn’t paid for the work. The company said the project cost increased to $60 million due to delays. It is unclear how much of that total the city has paid to GE Johnson.

Now, the city has filed a countersuit, stating GE Johnson broke the contract by completing “defective work.”

The completion date for the project was scheduled for Oct. 30, 2020. However, GE Johnson claims delays outside of their responsibility or control prevented them from achieving that deadline. The project wasn’t finished until June 23, 2021.

In its lawsuit, GE Johnson claimed the city failed to execute a “Memorandum of Understanding” with the Pikes Peak National Forest Service or file certain permits. In its countersuit, the city admits it delayed getting the proper documentation and permits for the project, but it only led to a minor delay. GE Johnson said it caused a nine-week delay for the project and because they had a limited window to conduct work outside of the winter months, the delay pushed back their projected completion date.

GE Johnson claims the City of Colorado Springs is required to adjust its total price due to the delays according to its contract.

“Delays in the Project, not the responsibility of [GE Johnson] documented in accordance with the requirements of this Contract, there will be an equitable adjustment to compensate [GE Johnson] for [GE Johnson’s] increased expenses,” the contract states in GE Johnson's complaint.

In its countersuit, the City of Colorado Springs said GE Johnson’s claims are baseless.

“GEJ’s claims against the City lack substantial justification, are frivolous and groundless, and the City is entitled to an award of its reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in defending against GEJ’s claims,” the countersuit states.

Not only does the city deny GE Johnson’s claims, but it also said the contractor was the one that broke the agreement.

Part of the contract included GE Johnson constructing the west parking lot at the Pikes Peak Summit Complex. Since the installation, the city said the parking lot has “severe undulations,” rising and falling. The cost to fix the parking lot is expected to be more than $449,000, which GE Johnson refused to repair.

GE Johnson also installed a wastewater management system, which the city said doesn’t function — a violation of the contract.

“Such work will be of good quality, free from improper workmanship and defective material in conformance with the Construction Documents,” the contract states. “With respect to the same Work, the CM/GC further agrees to correct all Work defective in material and workmanship for a period of two years from the warranties contained in the Specifications.”

The city filed a warranty notice request to GE Johnson to fix the wastewater system. GE Johnson never responded, and the city expects it will have to repair it at a substantial cost, according to the countersuit.

Both GE Johnson and the City of Colorado Springs declined to comment on pending litigation.

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Quinn Ritzdorf

Quinn is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.


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