City of Groveport settles dispute with architectural firm


By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

The city of Groveport has settled a potential lawsuit with an architectural firm regarding issues with the Groveport Recreation Center’s roof.

Groveport City Council approved legislation on Jan. 9 for a settlement agreement with the architectural firm Brandstetter Carroll, Inc., which is the firm that designed the Groveport Recreation Center.

In 2015, the city budgeted approximately $900,000 that was used to repair the roof over the indoor swimming pool at the Groveport Recreation Center. The funds for the repairs came from the city’s $1.5 million rainy day fund.

In November 2014, Groveport Law Director Kevin Shannon said corrosion and rust on the roof were first noted in 2011 and then monitored until 2014 when an inspection  revealed more damage to the metal roof, insulation and walls in the pool area. The recreation center was built in 2004.

A dispute arose regarding the liability for the damage to the recreation center and the city pursued a legal remedy against Brandstetter Carroll, Inc.,  regarding the issues with the roof and the architectural firm filed a countersuit against the city.

According to the city’s legislation regarding the settlement, both the city and Brandstetter Carroll, Inc. resolved the dispute without any of the parties admitting fault, liability, or responsibility.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement with Brandstetter Carroll, Inc., the architectural firm agreed to pay $650,000 to the city while the city agreed to pay Brandstetter Carroll, Inc., $50,000.

Shannon said the city absorbed the $250,000 difference between the $900,000 cost to fix the structure and the $650,000 Brandstetter Carroll, Inc., will pay the city.

“We considered the cost of litigation and the depreciation value of the roof over 12 years as well as the fact the city could not get its attorney fees paid even if it obtained a favorable result in court,” said Shannon. “We believe the $650,000 payment is a very good result for the city.”

Shannon said the city is paying $50,000 to Brandstetter Carroll, Inc., because “Brandstetter contended from the start that the city owed them for additional design services that they were never compensated for. What they were seeking was well over $50,000. The city’s payment of this sum was a compromise to facilitate the settlement.”

Shannon said the advantage for the city in avoiding going to court over the issue is that, by settling out of court, the city obtained a guaranteed result without the costs and risks of litigation.

“You never know what can happen when you go to trial and the cost of a trial can be very expensive,” said Shannon. “This way the city knows exactly what it is getting.”


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