Posted May 5, 2013
This dispute involves the firing of Urbacon Buildings Group Corp, contractor who was to build the new City Hall and renovate the old City Hall into a Provincial Courthouse. The firing in September 2009 meant the city had to hire two other contractors to complete the work, the cost of which has not been revealed.
Urbacon responded to the sudden termination with a $19,000,000 lawsuit. Entering the fray were lawsuits from the architects, Aviva, the company holding the completion bond, and subcontractors.
This week Derek Schmuck, the lawyer hired by the city to defend the action, sent an email stating the city “made arrangements” to have testimony by three witnesses to be placed on the trial record this month.
Unanswered are why these additional witnesses, who apprently did not testify during the trial are being asked to do so now. Why is this being brought forward now by Mr. Schmuck? Will the plaintiff lawyers have an opportunity to cross-examine these witnesses? If they did testify during the trial, why is it necessary now to have their testimony inserted in the trial record?
It would appear that the city is fearful it will lose the lawsuit and want to introduce new evidence to support its decision to fire the contractor.
Dare it be said? Do the three witnesses include the Mayor and former CAO Hans Loewig? They were the key players in the decision to dump Urbacon.
Schmuck added that the verdict in the case should be completed by late October. A further hearing to determine damages will be held after the verdict.
Win or lose, the cost of this misadventure will be a controversial talking point in the 2014 municipal election.