BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - DiPizio Construction scored two victories Friday in its ongoing legal fight against the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation.
DiPizio, a locally owned construction company, was fired in May from the Canalside job and has filed multiple lawsuits claiming it was unfairly pushed off the job and made a scapegoat for failures by the state's design team. The state has said DiPizio was woefully behind schedule.
On Friday, Acting Supreme Court Justice Timothy Walker ordered that the state not make any agreements that would hurt DiPizio's financial claims against the state. The judge was told that a deal was in the works for the state to pay Travelers Insurance, the project's bond holder $4 million to settle all claims.
The judge also agreed with DiPizio that its proposals for granite and disposing contaminated soil were allowed under the contract. The soil dispute cost DiPizio an extra $1.5 million. The granite issue delayed the project.
A spokesman for DiPizio noted that if the granite type selected by DiPizio had been approved by the state's construction managers in July 2012, the project would have been finished by now.
"This is a major decision," said Tony Farina, spokesman for DiPizio Construction. "We would certainly hope that this decision would spur Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation to come to its senses and reach an equitable settlement." DePizio is seeking unspecified millions of dollars in unpaid costs and damages.
A spokesman for the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Friday said there were no settlement talks currently planned.
William Brennan, the attorney who argued the state's case in court today, declined to comment following the judge's rulings.
DiPizio was the lowest bidder, just under $20 Million, on the job which will bring an ice rink, bridges and towpath to a section of the former Memorial Auditorium site. Pike Construction Co., of Rochester has been hired to finish the project by next summer.
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