The DYOJO Podcast introduced a series of episodes covering the lawsuit between Robert Jordan (RJ) Construction and the Arlington Independent School District (AISD). According to RJC they brought suit for underpayment of a 2021 emergency response at Sam Houston High School in Arlington, Texas following the aftermath of Winter Storm Uri. We are diving into the court documents and internet content to draw out the lessons contractors can learn from this unfortunate experience. Is this an example of a contractor behaving badly?
Whether contractors "chase storms" by responding to national catastrophes such as the devastation left by Hurricane Ian, or provide aid during a regional events such as the one we are talking about in the aftermath of Winter Storm Uri (2021), or are simply working on projects where there are multiple representatives involved in the decision-making matrix, there are lessons to be learned from this unfortunate story. The DYOJO team has poured over the available court documents and a key component of this case centers around what constitutes a contractual agreement.
As our guest Bebo Crain puts it, "It's hard to drive from the backseat after the ride is over." With the benefit of hindsight, many contractors listening to the show will likely conclude that there are several ways in which this situation could have been avoided or better resolved, yet, we don't have all the facts and we weren't there when they were unfolding in real time. As a twenty-plus year skilled trades professional, I have to admit, there are many of the mistakes made in this story that I have committed myself. Two of the key ones being what Mr. Jordan says, "I thought (enter client name) could be trusted." as well as believing that a series of emails would hold up as confirmation of an agreement.
Robert Jordan says that his company sprung into action, received letters of thanks for their services, but have yet to be paid for their work. According to RJC the school district is using sovereign immunity to say, "Screw you, we don't owe you a penny because we are the government." Many in our audience will resonate with the frustration of having performed the scope of work agreed-upon for the price agreed-upon only to find they are in some level of negotiation with a client, third-party consultants, insurance representatives, or another person in a position of authority, after the work has been completed.
Contractors will resonate with the frustration of having performed the scope of work agreed-upon for the price agreed-upon only to find they are in some level of negotiation after the work has been completed.
Topics to be addressed in this series inculde:
The DYOJO - helping contractors shorten