January 7, 2019
2019 started well for Heidelberg Steinberger when the firm received a win in a major arbitration proceeding for its client, the Jackson County Utility Authority. A claim was made in arbitration by an IT vendor as a result of the JCUA’s cancellation of an Information Technology contract due to inadequate service and performance. Due to the public health mission of the JCUA, a robust and reliable IT system is vital to the citizens of Jackson County, who receive water a sewer treatment service for the JCUA.
After the vendor failed to comply with its contract, the JCUA was forced to terminate the vendor and seek services elsewhere. The vendor claimed a breach of contract and pursued arbitration. After discovery and a lengthy arbitration hearing, per the American Arbitration Association rules, the arbitrator totally denied the vendor’s $185,000 claim, found the JCUA owed nothing, and also accessed the costs of the proceeding against the vendor.
Jimmy Heidelberg and April McDonald represented the JCUA. Mr. Heidelberg stated, “We are very pleased the actions of the JCUA were completely upheld resulting in a victory for the JCUA. While the JCUA regrets having to terminate the contract, the performance of the vendor was totally inadequate and could have endangered the JCUA’s vital role in providing water and sewer service, which is critically important to the health and welfare of it customers and the citizens of Jackson County. Despite the failings of the vendor, the staff of the JCUA worked tirelessly under difficult circumstances and maintained complete operations without the full capability of its computer systems until the system could be restored to functionality by another party. At no time did the JCUA’s operations fail to meet all health and permit requirements. The arbitrator was eminently correct in his award for the JCUA.”