Joel Krahn/Yukon News
Justice accessibility has been the focus of Yukon's court system for the past year.

Scott Design Build countersuing for $7.5 million over Carmacks arena project

The construction company is being sued by the Yukon government for the unfinished project

Scott Design Build Inc. has filed a statement of defence and counterclaim in response to a lawsuit filed against them in February.

The Yukon government is suing the construction company for $17.3 million after it failed to complete a new arena in Carmacks. The original lawsuit claims the company “neglected to prosecute the work diligently.” The project has since been retendered.

The Yukon government’s lawsuit claimed the company didn’t complete necessary preparations, failed to meet deadlines and replaced subcontractors without permission.

Scott Design Build filed a counterclaim to the lawsuit on April 13. The counterclaim denies the lawsuit’s allegations that the company breached its contract or was negligent. It also claims the Yukon government failed to pay for work performed.

The construction company is seeking $7.5 million to recover costs.

Scott Design Build alleges that design issues, cold weather and the pandemic caused the project’s delay – not negligence.

The first delay occurred when the planned columns for the building, were “not constructible” and required a review of the building’s framing. The process of redesign took three months to complete, delaying the order and arrival of steel for the project, the statement alleges.

The next delay occurred when a severe cold snap of -50C put “all site equipment out of commission” in January and February 2020. The company pulled off the site until the weather warmed on March 17, 2020.

On March 19, the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

All crews were pulled off the project until crews remobilized with alternative self-isolation plans on Aug. 29.

At that time, many of the company’s contractors began claiming additional costs due to the pandemic. The Yukon government did not consider the subcontractors’ claims, the statement alleges.

“Yukon’s failure to address the COVID delay claims resulted in a delayed return to the site by many trades that feared not receiving any compensation for the additional costs they had incurred,” says the statement.

The company then submitted a request to change the date of completion with revised construction schedules, suggesting a completion date of August 2021. The construction company was served a notice of default on Nov. 30, requiring all items of default be remedied within five days, “without legal cause,” the statement continues.

The company requested an extension on Dec. 8. The Yukon government terminated the contract on Dec. 15.

Scott Design Build alleges that no contract was breached, and that the government wrongfully terminated its right to the work. A hearing date for the case has not yet been set.

Contact Gabrielle Plonka at gabrielle.plonka@yukon-news.com

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