The U.S. Highway 380 project involved the construction of an eight-mile, $33 million section of the highway in Wise County for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The adjusted completion date for the project allowed an additional 137 days for change order delays and numerous days approved by TxDOT as no time charged days. However, two years later, the project remained late by 402 workdays. Early on during the project, a car accident occurred, severely injuring a woman. A few months later, a claim was filed against multiple parties included the contractor, on behalf of the injured party.
Spire, retained by the attorney representing the injured party, provided dispute resolution support, schedule delay analysis, standard of care, and productivity loss. Specifically, Spire provided an assessment regarding the contractor’s surety and corporate management actions. Spire also evaluated the contractor’s overall qualifications and ability to safely perform the work in full compliance with the project requirements. And finally, we reviewed the contractor’s project staffing and information management abilities along with their contractor’s internal project control abilities.
As a result of Spire’s analysis, it was determined that the contractor’s surety was responsible for the accident. The following reasons were given: the contractor’s surety masked and concealed pertinent information regarding the contractor that should have been disclosed. This concealment limited the state’s ability to fully protect the public’s interest and well-being. It was also determined that project staff were unqualified for the time leading up to and during the accident. The contractor did not adequately consider the contractual scheduling requirements and consistently failed to plan the work in accordance with the contract specifications. And finally, the poor corporate and job site culture resulted in a lack of project planning, scheduling, safety, and quality control. All of these factors significantly contributed to the conditions that existed at the intersection of U.S. Highway 380 and County Road 1110 on the date of the tragic accident.