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No More Cost Claims Once Contract Has Unambiguously Ended

Monday, September 03, 2012 05:52 am


Contract Termination

Hatfield Enterprises, Inc. v Bayer Cropscience LP, 2012 U.S. Dist. Lexis 95181 (S.D. W. Va. June 10, 2012)

An owner was not liable for $100,000 its contractor paid to maintain proper permits on work the contractor had completed years earlier.

In 1983, Hatfield Enterprises, Inc. (Hatfield) entered into a contract to construct, manage and eventually close two ponds for the disposal of coal ash produced by facilities owned by Bayer Cropscience, LP (Bayer). In 1999, Hatfiled notified the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) that the ponds were closed. Later, between 2004 and 2009, WVDEP required additional work on the ponds and dams as a condition of maintaining the dam permits. Hatfiled incurred more than $100,000 to comply with this request and then filed suit to recover the expenses from Bayer. Bayer contended that it was not liable for the additional costs because the parties' contract was no longer in effect.

The Bayer-Hatfield contract provided that it terminated when "all usable disposal area has been filled with Ash, covered with earth and seeded"--events, the court pointe [...]

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