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Derek Achong

An architect firm has lost its lawsuit against the State over almost $60 million in work it performed for the Ministry of Education over a decade ago.

In a recent decision, High Court Judge Betsy Ann Lambert-Peterson dismissed the lawsuit brought by Forum A&D Architects Limited as she ruled that it was brought outside the four year statutory limit for bringing civil lawsuits.

Lambert-Peterson said: “I am satisfied that to proceed to trial and hear the entire evidence will effectively deprive the defendant of the benefit of the limitation provisions which are intended to liberate a litigant from the oppression of defending a stale and dated claim.”

She also noted that the company already succeeded in a separate claim for $11 million in other work, which was brought within the time limit and accepted by the ministry.

In the lawsuit, the company claimed that it won the tender to perform design and consultancy services for upgrading the San Juan Secondary Comprehensive, El Dorado Secondary Comprehensive and El Dorado Secondary Schools.

The company won the tender in 2004 and submitted its invoices for payment in December 2008.

In the judgment, Lambert-Peterson suggested that the lawsuit should have been pursued within four years of the submission of the invoices and not in 2015 as filed, as there was no credit agreement between the parties.

The almost $11 million claim the ministry accepted was for work performed on the St Augustine Senior Secondary School.

The company was represented by Nirad Samnadda-Ramrekersingh and Richard Freeman, while Darrell Allahar and Amrita Ramsoon represented the Office of the Attorney General.