Housing Authority denies lawsuit  

The Beacon Heights Apartments are a part of the Lockport Housing Authority. According to Cavlee Development, a construction company who worked on the David Woody & Beacon Heights Modernization, compensation is due, including a retainer kept by the LHA until the work was completed, and a second amount for funds incurred during the delay of construction. Attorneys for the Housing Authority say both claims are not what they seem. (Photograph by Benjamin Joe)

An unpaid delay claim has led Cavlee Development NY Inc. to bring a lawsuit of breach of contract against the City of Lockport Housing Authority.

Cavlee, owned by Shaun Burke brought suit to LHA in the first week of November involving the construction contract for the David Woody & Beacon Heights Modernization project which was signed in August of 2019.

In the lawsuit Burke’s attorneys say that the Housing Authority made a breach in contract when they refused to release the final payment of their retainer, $81,546.20, to Cavlee, despite having accepted the project as complete.

The lawsuit went on to further accuse LHA of not honoring a claim of additional funds – amounting to $261,723 – due to a delay in construction which arose because the site was closed.

Duke Holzman Photiadis & Gresens LLP is handling the law case for Cavlee Development and asserted that the Housing Authority had the claim of delay compensation since May of 2021, but has refused to respond to it since then, as documented in the Nov. 9, 2021 complaint in New York State Supreme Court in Niagara County.

Roberson & Brandt, P.C. attorneys in Lockport is defending the LHA and denied any breach of contract for the amounts, that total $343,269.20. The firm asked on Nov. 28 for all statements by LHA in Cavlee’s possession that will be used as proof of the development company’s position, as well as the deposition from Cavlee’s representatives who are most knowledgable about the alleged claim in order to prepare for the case.

Tom Brandt spoke by phone with the US&J on Monday. He described the case as, “just started.”

Brandt said there are two parts to Cavlee’s lawsuit. The first has to do with a retainer which the LHA is “willing and able” to pay once all the documents required for the contract pertaining to “insurance and certified payrolls” are submitted.

Brandt also said the work that was “allegedly delayed” was because of the COVID-19 crisis.

“The Authority was responding to the governor’s executive orders to pause work and the contract specifically prohibits a claim of loss profits,” Brandt said.

According to Brandt, there is no estimate of when the litigation would be ending.

Burke could not give a statement regarding the pending litigation.

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