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Illinois turf company disputes Westfield's lawsuit

May 13, 2016

The out-of-state turf company that Westfield is suing for unsatisfactory work at Grand Park Sports Campus is disputing the lawsuit, arguing the city wrongfully terminated its contract.

Westfield filed the lawsuit earlier this year, seeking $3 million from Illinois-based Turf Solutions Group LLC and its bonding company, Oklahoma-based Granite RE Inc., for breach of contract and being negligent while under contract with the city.

In October, Turf Solutions filed a counterclaim against Westfield, arguing that the city breached the contract when it terminated the company without cause, notice or complying with required termination procedure. The complaint accuses the city of terminating Turf Solutions for convenience.

Earlier this month, Granite RE also filed a response disputing the city’s claims and requesting summary judgement.

Both companies state that Westfield failed to provide seven days written notice of its intention to dissolve the contract, which it was required to do under the agreement. Even after providing that notice, the city was required to wait 20 days before terminating the contract, according to court documents.

Westfield terminated the contract with Turf Solutions verbally on March 14, 2014, and sent a letter terminating the agreement on March 18, 2014, saying the company failed to perform the work adequately and caused delays in the project. Granite RE didn’t receive notice of the termination until June 2014, according to court documents.

“Westfield completely ignored the clear and unambiguous notice requirements of both the performance bond and the contract,” attorneys for Granite RE wrote.

The bonding company issued a $3 million performance bond in May 2013, after the city signed a contract with Turf Solutions in April of that year to prepare, drain and grade the proposed athletic fields at Grand Park.

The work was expected to be completed in time for the park’s opening in April 2014, but by November 2013, the city approached Turf Solutions about its performance and delays. The company assured the city that work would be completed by February 2014, which was later bumped to March 2014.

Turf Solutions is requesting $225,486 from Westfield for the work it performed while under contract, saying the delays were caused by third parties that it had no control over. According to court documents, the company has requested payment, but the city has not complied.

Westfield has denied the accusations in the counterclaim.

A five-day trial in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is scheduled for April 2017. An initial witness list submitted by Westfield includes 17 individuals.

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