Police HQ contractor launches crossclaim against co-defendant in city lawsuit


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A legal dispute over construction of the Winnipeg Police Service's headquarters building continues, as the project's contractor fights back against the city's allegations of negligence.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 09/08/2018 (1757 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A legal dispute over construction of the Winnipeg Police Service’s headquarters building continues, as the project’s contractor fights back against the city’s allegations of negligence.

Caspian Projects Inc., contractor for the $210-million construction of the WPS building at 245 Smith St., is now taking legal action against the City of Winnipeg and the project’s consultant, Ottawa-based firm Adjeleian Allen Rubeli Limited (AAR). Caspian denies there are any problems with the headquarters’ construction, but argues if the court finds there are, it is AAR’s fault.

Seeking undisclosed financial damages for alleged problems with the HQ’s drainage, air distribution, concrete structures, fire proofing and more, the city claimed Caspian and AAR were negligent in their duties. Both parties are defending themselves against those allegations, according to statements of defence filed in Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench.

Winnipeg Police headquarters (Phil Hossack / Winnipeg Free Press files)

On Aug. 1, Caspian filed a document asking the court to dismiss the city’s allegations of problems with the construction and design of the police headquarters at 245 Smith St. Caspian launched its own counterclaim and crossclaim against the city and AAR.

It is seeking $6.4 million in damages from the city over alleged project delays, and would place blame on AAR if the court finds there’s proof to the city’s claims.

“Caspian says that if the plaintiff suffered loss and damage as alleged, which is not admitted but denied, same was caused or contributed to by the negligence of AAR,” the crossclaim says.

Meanwhile, the city had a duty to Caspian “to provide timely, proper and complete designs, plans and specifications for the construction of the WPS headquarters, and a duty not to delay design and construction of the WPS headquarters by its fault or negligence,” the counterclaim says.

The city sued contractor Caspian and consultant AAR in May, over what the city claimed were defects in the construction and design of the former Canada Post building at Smith Street and Graham Avenue that was opened as the police service’s new headquarters in 2015.

Although the city’s lawsuit doesn’t put a dollar figure on the claims of structural problems and building damage, City of Winnipeg chief administrative officer Doug McNeil previously told the Free Press they amount to more than $10 million.

Both Caspian and AAR signed on with the city in 2011 to refurbish the former post office building into the new police headquarters. The project was completed two years late, and about $75 million over budget.

The city took legal action after attempting arbitration with the two parties and later saying that process was stonewalled by AAR.

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