Douglas Asphalt Co., et al. v. QORE, Inc., et al., No. 10-12695 (11th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
This consolidated appeal arose from a contract dispute between Douglas Asphalt Company (Douglas) and the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) where GDOT had awarded Douglas two paving contracts to mill and resurface certain stretches of interstate highway. GDOT subsequently retained QORE, Inc., an engineering and materials testing company, to remove asphalt samples from the first project site and conduct tests to determine the samples' lime content. QORE retained, at GDOT's direction, Applied Technical Services, Inc. (ATS), to perform a test that GDOT developed, called an atomic absorption test. QORE and ATS sent the data that those tests produced to GDOT for its analysis and consideration and GDOT concluded from those data that the asphalt that Douglas had laid did not contain enough hydrated lime; GDOT then relied, in part, on those test results to justify its decision to place Douglas in default on both highway contracts. Douglas responded by filing this action against QORE, ATS, and several individual GDOT officials. On appeal, Douglas contended that the district court erred by dismissing its Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. 1961-1968, claims and by granting summary judgment for QORE on its claims for defamation and negligence. ATS maintained that the district court erroneously failed to grant its motions for judgment as a matter of law on both the defamation and negligence claims. The court held that the district court did not err in dismissing Douglas's RICO claim and that QORE and ATS were entitled to judgment as a matter of law on both the defamation and negligence claims. Therefore, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, vacated the judgment against ATS, and remanded for entry of judgment in favor of ATS.