Firm partners Steven M. Siegfried, Stuart Sobel and Berenice M. Mottin-Berger were featured in an article about their work on behalf of one of the firm’s construction clients that appeared in today’s Daily Business Review, South Florida’s exclusive business daily and official court newspaper. The report, which was titled “Caribbean Construction Firm Scores $4M Judgment,” chronicles the highly contentious litigation and arbitration that led their securing a $4.3 million judgment against DeVry Education Group (NYSE: DV) for Moorjani Caribbean Ltd., a Barbados-based construction company. The article reads:
Coral Gables lawyers won a $4.3 million award against a subsidiary of for-profit college company DeVry Education Group in what they say was one of the nastiest arbitration battles they’ve ever fought.
Barbados-based construction company Moorjani Caribbean Ltd. sued over alleged underpayment for the construction of student housing and classroom projects at DeVry’s St. Kitts veterinary school.
Although both parties admitted some aspects of their work relationship was relaxed, with unsigned contracts and loose deadlines, the father-and-son construction company claimed it submitted detailed accounting for both projects and spent years trying to get payment before filing suit.
DeVry Medical International Inc. fought back with counterclaims, alleging it spent more than $1 million fixing design and construction defects in Moorjani Caribbean’s work on the student housing project.
But arbitrators found DeVry made improvements to the residence hall so that it could qualify as a place of refuge during a hurricane, not because of deficient construction.
By the time the 2009 bills for the two projects came to the arbitration panel this year, interest and attorney fees made the award much larger than it might have been, Moorjani Caribbean’s lawyers said. Interest on the award continues to grow at a rate of about $593 per day, according to the Aug. 19 final arbitration award.