Epstein Becker Green recently represented HCA Healthcare, the nation’s largest for-profit hospital system, in an arbitration concerning the construction of a freestanding emergency department in Salt Lake City, Utah. HCA was adverse to a regional general contractor and one of the world’s three largest surety bonding companies. HCA had terminated the contractor due to significant unexcused construction delays. HCA sought to recover nearly $3 million in damages from the general contractor and its bonding company for the cost HCA incurred to complete the project with a replacement contractor, in addition to attorneys’ fees and expenses. Disputing the termination’s validity, the general contractor made a sizable counterclaim against HCA of nearly $1.7 million.
The parties conducted a two-week hearing in April 2022. In addition to the three primary parties, six subcontractors also participated in the arbitration. HCA utilized four testifying experts (construction scheduling and delay, construction management, construction accounting and damages, and suretyship). There were also seven adverse experts. In this critically important case to HCA, Epstein Becker Green secured a resounding victory. The arbitrator awarded HCA the vast majority of its total damages. Additionally, the arbitrator determined that HCA is entitled to recover the full amount of its attorneys’ fees and arbitration expenses. The contractor recovered nothing on its $1.7 million claim against HCA. The arbitrator’s final award in HCA’s favor amounted to nearly $5.1 million, all of which the bonding company has paid.