D.C. McClain, Inc., et al. v. Arlington County, 452 S.E.2d 659
D.C. McClain, Inc. entered into a contract with Arlington County to build a bridge. A major portion of the project was installing post-tensioning pre-stressed concrete, which required securing an easement from Westfield Realty, Inc. for eight feet of land behind where the bridge was to be built. This request for an easement was denied on February 15, 1988. McClain executed the contract on March 16, 1988 to construct the bridge for $789,755.90. VSL, the subcontractor hired by McClain to perform the post-tensioning, developed an alternative to the post-tensioning that involved creating blockouts in the bridge. Mechanical equipment would then be placed in the holes created by the blockouts to post-tension the bridge. This method failed due to the temporary shoring, which was used for support before post-tensioning, would not support the bridge. McClain encountered other problems during its attempt to construct the bridge, resulting in all work being put on hold. McClain and the County executed Change Order No. 4, requiring the County to pay an additional $365,000 to McClain in return for McClain’s agreement to finish the project by July 1, 1990. This additional payment would constitute “full compensation” for the remainder of the work on the bridge. A few months after Change Order # 4 was signed, McClain informed the County he could not complete construction on the bridge unless the County would pay an additional $180,000, and obtain the necessary easement. The County refused and sent notice to McClain of their intent to terminate the contract. The contract was terminated on July 20, 1990.
The main issues in this case include breach of contract and wrongful termination of a contract. Breach of contract is defined as a breach of legal duty; failure to do something that is required in a contract. When McClain failed to obtain the easement and then keep up with the schedule and...
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