[caption id="attachment_155500" align="alignright" width="325"] Construction continues on the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons project.[/caption]
An Indiana firm is suing the general contractors for the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons project in downtown Milwaukee alleging it has not been paid for reinforcing steel and other materials used on the project.
The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Wisconsin by Auburn, Indiana-based Ambassador Steel Fabrication LLC alleges Milwaukee-based C.G. Schmidt Inc. entered into a contract with ASF for reinforcing steel, but has not paid the company more than $2.5 million.
The complaint says C.G. Schmidt “claimed to have discovered that two pieces of reinforcing steel provided by ASF were ‘defective’” and proceeded to remove all the bent reinforcing steel the company had provided, despite ASF’s objections.
“We are disappointed that Ambassador Steel Fabrication has chosen to litigate,” said Rick Schmidt, president and chief executive officer of C.G. Schmidt. “We are not in agreement with the allegations, but are looking forward to a resolution of this matter.”
Schmidt said the company would refrain from commenting further on the case.
An attorney for ASF did not respond to a call and email seeking comment. ASF is engaged is a fabricator, installer and distributor of concrete reinforcing steel and related products used in the construction industry, according to court documents.
BizTimes asked both C.G. Schmidt and Ambassador Steel Fabrication for additional information regarding the nature of the defect on the Northwestern Mutual project, the material used to replace it and where in the project it was used. The companies did not respond to requests for that information.
A spokesperson for Northwestern Mutual declined to comment on the lawsuit and directed questions to C.G. Schmidt.
The complaint alleges C.G. Schmidt directed Ambassador Steel Fabrication to “supply replacement reinforcing steel using a nonstandard bending protocol that was not required by the project’s plans or specifications or industry standards.”
The lawsuit also raises a question over whether a purchase order submitted by C.G. Schmidt in January 2015 or a proposal from ASF in July 2014 should govern the relationship between the two companies. The lawsuit asks a judge to make a declaratory judgement on the matter.
[caption id="attachment_155501" align="alignright" width="383"] Gilbane and C.G. Schmidt are the general contractors for the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons project.[/caption]
Also named in the lawsuit are Travelers Casualty and Indemnity Co. and Gilbane Building Co., the other general contractor on the project. Travelers issued a payment bond to Northwestern Mutual as surety for Gilbane, according to the lawsuit. ASF makes a claim against the bond in the lawsuit.
ASF is seeking more than $2.5 million, plus interest, in addition to the declaratory judgement.