Kellogg Brown & Root Servs., Inc. v. Murphy, No. 15-1148 (Fed. Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
KBR, an Army contractor, subcontracted with KCPC/Morris to implement work release orders for construction of dining facilities and provision of food services in Iraq. KBR terminated the subcontract based on performance. KCPC/Morris disputed the termination and continued performance until transition to a new subcontractor in September 2003. In January 2005, the parties signed an agreement, converting the default termination into a termination for convenience. A $17,400,000 settlement was paid, but the parties disputed costs. In August 2006, KCPC/Morris submitted a certified claim, which KBR forwarded to the Army, stating that it would not certify validity and lacked supporting documentation. The Army responded in May 2007, that it was KBR’s responsibility to negotiate with its subcontractors, and refused to consider the submission. In October 2007, KBR “sponsored” the claim, followed by certification dated January 2008. In September 2010, KBR withdrew the claim. In August 2011, KCPC/Morris filed suit, which was withdrawn after the parties entered reached agreement dated February 2012. In May 2012, KBR filed a certified claim for the agreed amount. The contracting officer did not act, placing the claim in “deemed denied” status. The Board of Contract Appeals dismissed KBR’s appeal, holding that the limitations period had run before May 2012. The Federal Circuit reversed, holding that the KBR claim had not accrued, for limitation purposes, before May 2006. The Contract Disputes Act, 41 U.S.C. 7103(a)(4)(A), does not require the filing of protective claims related to subcontractors while those claims are being resolved between the prime and sub.