Karlsberger Architecture has filed a lawsuit against Ohio State University (OSU) and its trustees after they terminated a $32 million contract with the firm to build a new cancer centre. The architecture firm claims that the university breached its contract and held secret discussions in undisclosed locations, which led to the termination of the contract. Karlsberger included the Board of Trustees in the lawsuit as they believe that they, ‘failed in their oversight and management of the project,’ according to a press release by Capelin Communications.
The architecture firm claims that OSU has withheld payment of outstanding requisitions for work performed to date under its contract, and wrongfully terminated that contract. According to Karlsberger attorney James E. Frankel, “Karlsberger is ready, able, and qualified to complete the contract and has tried diligently to resolve this dispute without resorting to litigation.”
Karlsberger alleges that OSU has acted not just in bad faith, but also contrary to public policy and public interest. “It has avoided its contractual obligations by terminating the public contract. And, by re-bidding the publicly-funded project only one day after Karlsberger was notified of the termination, it has further violated Ohio's Sunshine Law,” a Karlsberger spokesperson points out.
The university admits that Karlsberger performed as expected, and that the contract termination was “without cause.”
The project to create a cancer and critical care facility is in the early stages and will cost the OSU $405 million to complete. The masterplan and initial designs were drafted by another firm, Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum, Inc. in 2005 and since then the design has been altered several times by the OSU.