Opening Statements in Civil Suit Over Silver Spring Transit Center Delays

After years of construction delays, the Sarbanes Transit Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, opened about two years ago, but the legal battle over those delays just got started in court Wednesday.

Montgomery County and Metro filed a lawsuit against the general contractor, designer and other subcontractors, seeking $40 million in cost overruns and damages and for defects in the design and construction, and the building contractor is counter-suing for $10 million.

The county and the Washington Metropolitan Transit authority are suing the general contractor, designer and other subcontractors who built the Silver Spring transit center claiming negligence. There were concerns about cracks and structural integrity of the building. A new construction company was brought in to fix the concrete and steel beams.

What was supposed to be a $30 million project wound up costing about four times that.

General contractor Foulger-Pratt claims Montgomery County did a poor job of managing the construction contract and was unprepared to begin construction in 2008.

"Foulger-Pratt didn't find out until after it signed the contract that Montgomery County didn't have building permits," the contractor’s attorney said in opening statements Wednesday.

Foulger-Pratt's counter suit says the county still owes for work done.

"No one could have foreseen how unprepared Montgomery County was for this project," Foulger-Pratt's attorney told jurors.

Montgomery County told all employees not to talk about the case and took all references to the transit center down from its website.

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