Riker Team Settles Massive Construction Litigation for Client Spectraserv

Riker Team Settles Massive Construction Litigation for Client Spectraserv
Nov 14, 2016

Riker Danzig successfully concluded a massive construction litigation for client Spectraserv, a South Kearny-based construction management company, securing a $10 million settlement from the Middlesex County Utilities Authority.  The lawsuit, which commenced in 2007 and cost the taxpayers well over $7 million in legal fees, was brought by Spectraserv against the MCUA after Spectraserv had been retained to build a solid waste processing facility that had been defectively designed for the MCUA by R3M Engineering.  R3M was formed approximately one month before its contract was awarded and was headed by Holly Kurtz Antisell, daughter of the former executive director of the MCUA, Fredrick Kurtz. Both Holly Kurtz Antisell and Fredrick Kurtz were also defendants in the lawsuit.   When the design failed to work properly, causing fires and explosions, the MCUA terminated its contract with Spectraserv.  Spectraserv sued for improper termination of its contract, and the MCUA asserted multimillion dollar counterclaims against Spectraserv.

The trial began in April of 2016, during which Spectraserv provided evidence that a disturbing pattern of political contributions and favoritism were directly linked to the award of the design work to R3M, and that the MCUA and R3M had attempted to cover up the design and engineering deficiencies and dangerous conditions by improperly trying to impose the design and performance responsibilities onto Spectraserv, which had been awarded the contract for building the large-scale wastewater treatment plant based on the R3M design.

Riker Danzig partner Marc D’Angiolillo, counsel for Spectraserv and a lead partner in Riker Danzig’s Construction Litigation practice, said, “It has been a long road for Spectraserv to recover the money they lost as a result of completing a multimillion dollar construction project for a public owner who continually failed to deal with them in good faith.  The extent to which the taxpayers’ money was used to defend a private engineering firm against claims of fraud and conspiracy in an over $50 million public improvement is truly shocking.  We are thrilled that Spectraserv has finally been vindicated, and is now able to move forward with other productive projects.”

The case was featured in a story in the Home News Tribune.