International Industrial Park, Inc. v. The Unites States

Opinion & Order re: Motion for Reconsideration; Attorney's Fees; Waiver of Sovereign Immunity; Fee-Shifting Provision; Contract Interpretation; Plain and Ordinary Meaning.

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A federal U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge holds that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers waived sovereign immunity and is obligated to pay attorneys’ fees to plaintiffs in a contract case by virtue of a fee-shifting provision the parties had included in a contract. International Industrial Park, Inc. v. United States, No. 09-691C (Dec. 21, 2011). During trial, the attorney who had negotiated the attorneys’ fee provision for the Government had testified that the fee-shifting provision only meant that the plaintiff could “argue you’re entitled to attorneys’ fees and we can argue you’re not, whatever.” But the trial court rejected that open-ended interpretation of the attorneys fee provision, explaining: “The Court will not indulge the Government’s whipsaw here, encouraging Plaintiffs to punt the attorneys’ fee issue until after litigation, only then to urge Plaintiffs’ disqualification for punting.”

Please see full Order below for more information.

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Published In: Administrative Agency Updates, Civil Remedies Updates, General Business Updates, Construction Updates

Reference Info:Decision | Federal, Federal Circuit, Claims Court | United States