An arbitrator awarded $1.7 million to Gratech Company on May 29, according to attorneys for the North Dakota business. In May of 2017, Gratech filed for arbitration, claiming McKenzie County breached the terms of a 2016 contract by failing to grant an extension of the contract.
Several utilities failed to relocate their facilities in a timely manner and the contract had provided that Gratech was entitled to additional time to account for those delays. However, the county’s engineer denied the request and forced Gratech to bring in additional labor and equipment at an increased cost.
The county argued that Gratech failed to meet certain procedural requirements and should have planned ahead for utility delays, but the arbitrator ruled that the company had proved the existence of an ‘excusable delay’ and provided timely notice of its claim.