RDOS successful in lawsuit

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen has successfully sued an engineering firm for underestimating costs in a Naramata project.

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The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is getting reimbursed after a successful lawsuit against an engineering firm involved in the Naramata water supply project in 2005.

Associated Engineering Ltd. has been ordered to pay the district $150,000 for negligence and breach of contract in a decision handed down by Justice Jon Sigurdson in B.C. Supreme Court in Penticton June 1.

Associated Engineering was hired by the RDOS for the Naramata Water Supply 2005 Improvements Project and oversaw construction work done by H&M Contracting.

The initial aim of the project was to create roadside trenches and replace the water mains effecting 800 Naramata homes, which were under a constant boil water advisory at the time, and have the trenches filled and paved.

However, the B.C. Transportation Ministry asked that the work be expanded to repave the entire roadway, adding $200,000 in funds to the project, which was a smaller piece of the larger upgrade to Naramata’s water treatment facility.

Justice Sigurdson found that certain costs including gravel and asphalt should have been noted in developing the estimated cost of the project to be split between the RDOS and the Ministry, which according to the reasons for judgment would have been 12 per cent higher for the Ministry had the estimate been done properly.

Sigurdson ruled that Associated Engineering was “negligent in not including items of cost it knew or ought to have known were attributable to the Ministry in preparing its estimate.”

The drawn out trial started in 2012, but was transferred to Justice Sigurdson after the initial judge became incapacitated and was unable to deliver reasons for judgment. Sigurdson took over the case listening to prior recordings of exhibits and arguments before handing down the decision.