The cost recovery team has filed suit against the joint venture of Fay, Spofford & Thorndike Inc., Burlington, Mass. and T.Y. Lin International, San Francisco, in an amount exceeding $2.7 million for work on a portion of Interstate 90 near Logan International Airport. “We’re proud of our performance and look forward to defending and resolving the MTA’s claim,” says Jim Rourke, joint venture project manager.


Another suit is pending against the joint venture of Greenman-Pedersen Inc, New York City; Vollmer Associates; and Ammann & Whitney, for $2.9 million related to ramp and roadway problems on I-93 north of the Charles River. The joint venture would not comment. Two demand letters have also been served to other unidentified firms.

One major obstacle to settlement is the joint defense provision of CA/T’s owner-controlled insurance policy (OCIP), a deterrent to design firm finger-pointing. “The OCIP was established in 1995 to facilitate a collaborative design effort,” says David J. Hatem, B/PB attorney. “It is also recognized as an ideal mechanism to foster streamlining, partnering, cost savings and joint and simultaneous resolution of claims.” About $20 million in insurance is available.

Demand letters and negotiations are confidential to facilitate discussion, but to date “we have not seen any good faith efforts from B/PB, who, in using the joint defense agreements, have kept section design consultants from settling,” says Ginsburg. He notes that B/PB appears to be waiting for a global errors and omissions dollar amount before settling. “We’re just starting the project-wide review and have no information on liability exposure,” says C. Matt Wiley, B/PB program manager. “We need to know the totality of scope before we can negotiate.”

Once a settlement is agreed upon, firms are given a general release from all owner contract claims. But even that may be contentious. “There is still contingent exposure on project-wide claims,” says Hatem.