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Half-million dollar lawsuit filed by Atlanta contractor

A contractor based in Atlanta, Georgia is filing suit against an out-of-state school district for $544,542.

Urban Metropolitan Development says that the contract they signed with the district did not include wording on a water removal project they performed. However, it did include a salvage clause that allowed Urban Metro to keep scrap metals and valuables in the school after their work was done - but they claim the district already cleaned out such things before they had a chance to obtain them. The contract dispute will now head to court.

In 2011, a tornado destroyed three schools in Joplin, Missouri and Urban Metro was contracted to supervise and perform the demolition of the schools. Urban Metro alleges that more than 2 million gallons of water -- tainted with asbestos -- had to be removed from one of the schools, a project that cost an amount equal to the requested reward in the suit.

Urban Metro's director of construction also claims that about $2 million of salvageable metals were available at one of the schools, but the owner of Urban Metro says they were "locked out for two months" as the school district claimed all of the valuables.

The school district shot back at Urban Metro's claims, saying the water removal was indeed in the contract and that the company failed to meet a 60-day window to complete their work. The school district's superintendent also says they have been paying Urban Metro based on the completion of their work and that their "mistake" with the contract should not hold Joplin school district liable.

Source: Claims Journal, "Contractor Sues Joplin School District Over Demolition," April 10, 2012

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