Motions to Dismiss, Limitations of Liability, and More

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Attorney Christopher G. Hill analyzes BAE Systems Ordnance Systems, Inc. v. Fluor Federal Solutions, LLC.

January 23, 2023
Christopher G. Hill - Construction Law Musings

Remember BAE Sys. Ordnance Sys. V. Fluor Fed. Sols? I examined that case on two occasions previously here at Construction Law Musings. Previously the discussions were about the mix (or lack thereof) between fraud and contract and about how careful contract drafting is key.

In the most recent opinion in this ongoing litigation from March of 2022, the Court examined various motions to dismiss the Complaint and Counterclaim in the matter. As a reminder, the basic facts are as follows.

The US Army Joint Munitions Command (“Army”) contracted with BAE Systems OrdnanceSystems, Inc. (“BAE”) to operate and maintain the Radford Army Ammunition Plant (“RFAAP”)under a basic ordering agreement (“BOA”). Under BOA Task Order 002, BAE contracted to replace the legacy NC facility at the RFAAP with a newer one (the “NC Project”). Initially, BAE subcontracted the NC Project to Lauren Engineers & Constructors (“Lauren”), but later terminated Lauren. Despite terminating Lauren, BAE’s timeline to complete the NC Project remained unchanged and BAE was required to use Lauren’s design for the NC Project. BAE gave interested bidders access to the Lauren design and other related documents and required the selected subcontractor to perform in accordance with the 85% complete Lauren design, that the Lauren design could be relied on for accuracy, and the selected subcontractor only had to complete the unfinished parts. Fluor Federal Solutions, LLC (“Fluor”) submitted a request for information (“RFI”) asking BAE about the standards referenced in the SOW. Fluor was unable to determine the completeness of the Lauren design but relied on BAE’s assertion that the design was 85% complete. BAE rejected Fluor’s initial bid as being too high given what BAE had already paid Lauren for its design and told Fluor to lower its bid because the design was close to complete. Fluor lowered its price and submitted another bid proposal that outlined a firm-fixed-price design/build that forecasted 32 months to complete the NC Project. BAE awarded Fluor an Undefinitized Contract Action (“UCA”) in the amount of $9 million dollars, later increased to $32 million. Under the UCA, Fluor began procuring materials and physical construction before a formal subcontract was agreed upon. On December 17, 2015, BAE and Fluor agreed to a fixed-price design and build subcontract (the “Subcontract”) in which Fluor agreed to design, construct, and partially commission the NC Project for $245,690,422.00, which included money spent already in the UCA. When this litigation began, Fluor was scheduled to complete its work by December 2020, 2.5 years beyond the originally agreed-upon completion date.

Mr. Hill may be contacted at chrisghill@constructionlawva.com



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