A top consultant on Akron’s $1.2 billion sewer project is suing the city for nearly $600,000 in unpaid invoices.

The lawsuit filed Friday in Summit County Court of Common Pleas involves a $3,159,901 contract with MWH Americas Inc. The consulting firm agreed in November 2015 to help the city reduce costs, update designs and negotiate with state and federal regulators to advance the court-mandated sewer project.

Colorado-based Stantec Consulting Services Inc. acquired MWH in the middle of the eight-month contract as Mayor Dan Horrigan took office. Now, the parent company is suing for $594,636.75, or what it says is the outstanding balance of the contract.

Columbus attorney Katherine Connor Ferguson, who is representing Stantec, said no comment would be made at this time. The city reiterated its policy of not discussing pending litigation.

The lawsuit alleges that invoices issued in November and December of 2016, about five months after the consulting work was originally scheduled to be done, were never paid. A third invoice issued in February 2017 also went unpaid.

Stantec said in the court filing that it “fully performed its obligations” and that the work was finished by Dec. 31, 2016.

“Despite Stantec’s repeated requests for payment, Akron refuses to submit payment on the unpaid invoices in breach of the express terms of the Agreement,” Ferguson wrote in the civil complaint.

The original contract dated Nov. 6, 2015 provided for MWH to provide monthly invoices and updates on the progress of the Akron Waterways Renewed! – Integrated Planning and Regulatory Support. Before heading to court, any dispute would be resolved “in good faith” between the MWH project manager and city project manager. If that fails, then the matter would be presented in writing to the city engineer and, if that fails, to the director of Public Service, who would have the final say on the matter.

The lawsuit has been assigned to Summit County Common Pleas Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands.

 

Reach Doug Livingston at dlivingston@thebeaconjournal.com or 330-996-3792.