Jury awards contractor $729,000, says city caused delays

Jurors in Brownville, Texas, ruled the city must pay $729,000 to Zimmerman Construction over work delays at the Brownsville-South Padre Island International Airport terminal, according to the Brownsville Herald.

The two-week trial centered around whether the city was responsible for delays that hampered the contractor from finishing a redesign of the terminal. Zimmerman Construction said the city delayed the project through an “inaccurate,” “incomplete” and “poorly conceived” design and slow responses to change it, costing the firm more than $2 million, according to court files.

Zimmerman’s lawyer, Marshall Ray, told the newspaper the city’s delays pushed the project 20 months past its original nine-month time frame. Zimmerman also alleged the city refused to extend the project’s deadline.

Ray said he was satisfied with the verdict, but planned to seek a substantial amount of prejudgment interest from the city.

The city argued it was shielded from the lawsuit by sovereign immunity, which limits the ability of private parties to sue governments. City Attorney Jim Goza held open the possibility of appeal.