Construction / Commercial Litigation / Business & Employment Law

Jury Sides with Woolford Kanfer Architect Client in Termination Dispute

Woolford Kanfer Law represented a prominent architectural firm at a recent jury trial in Berks County in which it was awarded all of the costs it sought from the Boyertown Area School District.  The architectural firm was hired by the school district to design renovations and additions to its high school.  The school district had established a $55 million budget for the project.  Midway through the design phase, before any construction started and before any bids were received, the school district terminated the architect’s contract, claiming that the architect had over-designed the project and that the project could not be completed for $55 million.  The architect disagreed and also argued that it was premature to speculate on the cost of the project before the design was complete and before plans and specs were put out to contractors for bid.

The architect sued to recover the nearly $600,000 consisting of design fees that the school district failed to pay for design work, as well as the profits that it would have realized had it not been terminated.  The school district counterclaimed, seeking the return of the $1.1 million that it had paid to the architectural firm in design fees prior to the termination.  A one-week trial was held before a jury in Berks County.  The jury resoundingly rejected the school district’s arguments and found that the termination was improper. After deliberating for only ten minutes, the jury reached a unanimous verdict for the architect and ordered the school district to pay the entire amount sought by the architectural firm.  Click here for an article in the Reading Eagle concerning the case.