Collier County
FL

Action Item
10529

Recommendation to approve a Settlement Agreement and Release in the contract dispute case styled Johnson Controls, Inc., v. Collier County Board of County Commissioners, Case No. 2019-CA-3326, now pending in the Twentieth Judicial Circuit Court in and for Collier County, Florida. (Fiscal Impact: $105,000)

Information

Department:County Attorney's OfficeSponsors:
Category:16.K Consent Agenda-County Attorney

Attachments

  1. Printout
  2. Settlement Agreement and Release

Executive Summary

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

Recommendation to approve a Settlement Agreement and Release in the contract dispute case styled Johnson Controls, Inc., v. Collier County Board of County Commissioners, Case No. 2019-CA-3326, now pending in the Twentieth Judicial Circuit Court in and for Collier County, Florida.  (Fiscal Impact: $105,000)

 

OBJECTIVETo obtain Board approval to enter into a Settlement Agreement and Release with Johnson Controls, Inc., (“JCI”), that will resolve and dismiss the pending contract payment dispute lawsuit against the County.

 

CONSIDERATIONSJCI provided various energy management, preventative maintenance and mechanical contractor services at County-owned facilities for a number of years.   A large volume of the work JCI performed arose under the following two agreements:  (1) Agreement No. 10-5373 for Energy Management Services, and (2) Agreement No. 15-6432 for Preventative Maintenance Inspection Services and On-Call Mechanical Contractor Services.   During the course of receiving work under those contracts, disputes arose as to the correct manner of payment in accordance with the terms in which various projects were quoted and work orders were issued.   At one point, an outstanding balance in excess of seven figures remained unpaid, which was dramatically reduced through the joint efforts of the County and JCI.  Notwithstanding that effort, additional invoices remained unpaid until ultimately JCI placed all Collier County accounts on a credit hold pursuant to a June 14, 2017 letter issued by its Florida Area Service Manager. 

 

The County undertook further efforts to resolve the payment issues with JCI, which resulted in the Board’s approval of a further payment of $61,060.90 for various invoices on January 24, 2017 (Agenda Item 16.E.1).  Notwithstanding that effort, on August 19, 2019, JCI filed the above-referenced lawsuit against the County alleging various claims based on breach of contract, the failure to pay the balance of an account stated, as well as, allegations that the County unreasonably delayed various projects resulting in extended overhead impacts.  JCI is seeking total damages against the County in excess of $176,529.50,, not including interest, costs and attorneys’ fees, which it also seeks to recover in its lawsuit.

 

Following service of the lawsuit, the County Attorney’s Office, (“CAO”) entered into a Joint Motion to Stay the court proceedings with JCI, so that the parties could engage in further settlement discussions, including participating in formal mediation.  On September 17, 2019, the Court entered an Agreed Order to stay the proceedings and the parties scheduled mediation for October 28, 2019. 

 

Soon thereafter, the CAO’s office and the attorneys for JCI re-engaged in settlement discussions.  Through counsel’s extensive negotiations a tentative settlement was reached, contingent upon Board approval.

 

The terms of the settlement recommended for Board approval are that in exchange for Collier County’s payment of $105,000.00, JCI will voluntarily dismiss its lawsuit against the County with prejudice and the parties will enter into a settlement agreement and mutual release as to the issues raised in the lawsuit.  Attached as back-up to this recommendation is a copy of the Settlement Agreement and Release for the Chairman’s signature.   

 

 

 

 

FISCAL IMPACT:    Funds in the amount of $105,000.00 are available as follows:

 

Fund

Total

General Operating Fund (001)

$        8,216.64

Community Development Operating Fund (113)

$        8,421.47

County Wide Capital Fund (301)

$      32,839.20

Water Capital Fund (412)

$      32,883.42

Wastewater Capital Fund (414)

$      22,483.93

Solid Waste Capital Fund (474)

$         155.34

Grand Total

$    105,000.00

 

LEGAL CONSIDERATIONSThis item has been prepared by the CAO, is approved as to form and legality, and requires a majority vote for Board approval.  -SRT

 

RECOMMENDATIONThat the Board of County Commissioners approves a Settlement Agreement and Release in the contract dispute case styled Johnson Controls, Inc. v. Collier County Board of County Commissioners, Case No. 2019-CA-3326, now pending in the Twentieth Judicial Circuit Court in and for Collier County, Florida, authorizes its Chairman to sign the attached Settlement Agreement and Release on behalf of the Board, and approve all necessary budget amendments.

 

Prepared by:              Scott R. Teach, Deputy County Attorney              

 

 

Discussion