Plumbing company defaults on Fairfield Inn lawsuit

An Illinois plumbing company never responded to a lawsuit filed by the owners of North Platte’s Fairfield Inn, and now they are on the hook for $293,390.30

That’s the amount Canteen Hospitality (the owners of the hotel) claimed they had to spend to finish and redo much of the work Central Illinois Plumbing and Heating was contracted to do on the property beyond the original contract price.

The lawsuit stated that Central was hired to complete all the interior and exterior heating, cooling, and plumbing work on the hotel in exchange for just over $630,000.

Canteen paid Central and its subcontractors $393,781.03, the lawsuit claimed. However, it also alleged, “Defendant failed to complete the work, and, as a result, the plaintiff was required to an additional amount of $529,809.27 for the correction of defendant’s mistakes and partial completion.”

The suit was filed April 6. Central never responded and on July 7 Canteen moved for default judgment. The motion stated that Central was served with a summons May 25 and subsequently failed to respond within the time frame mandated by Nebraska law.

Lincoln County District Court Judge John Murphy awarded the default judgment July 8. He also dismissed a construction lien filed against the hotel property by Central on March 5. Central filed the lien seeking $104,352.68 it claimed it was owed for services and materials.

The Fairfield in opened May 21, nearly three months after its initial projected opening date of March 1.

Property owner Pat Keenan told the Bulletin the opening was delayed partially due to Central’s failure to live up to their contract.

“They had some internal issues and simply couldn’t staff the job with trained personnel to keep things on schedule,” Keenan said.

Keenan said Charlie’s Plumbing and AJ’s Sheet Metal were brought in to finish the job, but both discovered problems with the work Central did.

“The work and materials weren’t up to standards, so they had to go back in and redo several things,” Keenan said. “They had to pull out everything that didn’t meet the code.”

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