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Iowa company awarded damages in Omaha cemetery dispute

Posted at 5:19 PM, Jan 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-05 18:19:15-05

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A federal judge in Nebraska has awarded more than $610,000 to an Iowa company that sued after it said it wasn’t fully paid for masonry work at a national veterans cemetery in Omaha.

Seedorff Masonry, of Strawberry Point, Iowa, sued Archer Western Construction, of Chicago, and its insurer in 2018, saying it hadn’t been paid nearly $610,000 for labor and limestone it supplied for the Omaha National Cemetery that opened in 2016. On Thursday, U.S. Judge Robert Rossiter Jr. awarded that amount, plus $138,000 in interest and costs, to Seedorff, the Lincoln Journal Star reported Saturday.

The judge said Archer failed to prove its counterclaim that discussions over accepting Seedorff’s limestone — some of which had a natural flaw — delayed the project and added travel expenses. Archer said it should be able to offset costs caused by those discussions, even though the limestone was ultimately accepted for the project.

The judge said the evidence didn’t support Archer’s contention that discussions over the stone delayed the project. He pointed to testimony from a VA engineer who said that while the project was plagued with delays, discussions over the stone didn’t cause them.

The judge declined to award attorney’s fees, saying that Archer’s counterclaim wasn’t unreasonable.