JMR Constr. Corp. v. Envtl Assessment & Remediation Mgmt., Inc.Annotate this Case
The Army Corps of Engineers retained JMR as general contractor for construction of a dental clinic at the Presidio of Monterey. JMR entered into separate electrical and plumbing subcontracts with EAR. SureTec issued separate bonds guaranteeing EAR’s performance. While the project was ongoing, JMR communicated with EAR about alleged delays, deficient and late submittals, and improper work, and retained certain funds otherwise due EAR. After the project was completed, JMR sued EAR and SureTec for breach of contract and for foreclosure of the bonds. EAR filed a cross-complaint to recover retention funds withheld under the subcontracts. JMR was awarded $315,631, which included an offset for retention funds. The court held that JMR was entitled to attorney fees for its successful defense of the cross-complaint; awarded JMR $90,644.07 in expert witness fees, concluding that JMR’s recovery exceeded its $375,000 pretrial settlement offers. The court of appeal affirmed the judgment but reversed the award of expert fees. The court upheld utilization of the Eichleay method to calculate extended home office overhead damages; use of the modified total cost method of calculating JMR’s disruption and delay damages; and finding SureTec liable under the bonds because formal notice of default was not a condition precedent to recovery.