Lights Go Out on Green Stadium Litigation

 

Today we are going to take a hiatus from the discussions of green building in the current financial markets and, instead, wrap up what potentially could have been major green building litigation.  On October 17, 2008, the Lerner family and the D.C. Government resolved litigation stemming from the LEED-Silver certified Washington Nationals Stadium. 

 

In previous Green Building Law Update posts, we focused on the stadium's certification and discussed the “green” stadium scoreboard that incorporated “high-definition LED technology that the Lerner family paid to have upgraded beyond the basic specifications called for in the ballpark's design.”  During negotiations over the protracted stadium dispute, it came out that Lerner representatives were unhappy, in part, about the lighting on the scoreboard that they paid for through an apparent change order.

 

Based on the published Settlement Agreement, the dispute over the LED-lit scoreboard remained a sticking point throughout the negotiations.  On page 1 of the Settlement Agreement, the Lerner Family agreed to withdraw and irrevocably waive “its demands for credits . . . for disputed scoreboard change orders.”  What were the final results of the negotiations?  The City will pay the Nationals $4 million to resolve the disputes and, in return, “the team will pay $3.5 million in rent that was due to the city last spring.”

 

With this settlement, the green building industry dodges what would have been the most substantial green building litigation to date.  But the day is coming.  Are you convinced that you need to have a rock solid green building contract?

 

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