Edward Seglias and Zachary Sanders of Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman PC recently secured a significant victory for their client Silvi Concrete, which was wrongfully terminated by Thomas P. Carney, Inc. from the W Hotel Project in Center City Philadelphia. After long-fought litigation and a six-day trial, a jury returned a verdict for Silvi in the amount of $1,257,177.05.
“This is a resounding victory for Silvi,” said Ed Seglias. “It represents a recovery of 100 percent of Silvi’s claim, the complete defeat of Carney’s counterclaim, and full vindication for our client.” Laurence J. Silvi II, Co-President of Silvi Group Companies, echoed the same sentiment, stating “the verdict rights a financial wrong, but more importantly, it restores our reputation as one of the premier ready-mix concrete suppliers in the northeast.”
Carney was the Project’s concrete subcontractor, tasked with completing all of the concrete work necessary for the construction of the W Hotel Project – a large, dual-branded 52-story hotel skyscraper.
The first major piece of Carney’s work involved forming the Project’s foundation, which consisted of a colossal, 9-foot high mat slab designed to support the weight of the skyscraper. The Project’s mat slab foundation was so large that it required approximately 600 truckloads of concrete poured in a continuous fashion for approximately 26 hours straight to complete the mat slab. At the time it was to be the largest continuous concrete pour in Philadelphia history. After various project delays, the mat slab foundation was eventually scheduled to be poured on July 9, 2016.
Three weeks prior to the pour, Carney was forced to adjust the concrete specifications to reduce the core temperature of the mat slab that, if left unchecked in the July heat, could fatally weaken the strength of the foundation. Because of the change in concrete specifications, Carney’s original supplier was no longer able to supply the concrete necessary to complete the mat slab in a timely fashion. Consequently, Carney approached Silvi to supply the concrete for the mat slab pour. Due to the enormous risks and challenges involved with completing such a massive pour on short notice, Silvi informed Carney that it would only provide the concrete for the mat slab if Carney agreed to utilize Silvi as the sole and exclusive supplier of concrete for the remainder of the Project. Carney agreed, and the parties memorialized their agreement in writing.
Twelve days after the pour, Carney wrongfully terminated its agreement with Silvi without explanation or cause. Demonstrating that the termination was pretextual, Carney immediately returned to work with its previous concrete supplier. As a result of Carney’s wrongful termination of Silvi, Silvi was prevented from receiving the benefit of the bargain —namely, the sole and exclusive right to supply all of the concrete necessary for the construction of the Project. As a result, Silvi lost revenues of $5.5 million on approximately 40,000 cubic yards.
Not only was Carney’s termination of Silvi wrongful, but Carney also improperly withheld amounts due and owed to Silvi for the concrete that it did supply, despite the fact that Silvi provided the concrete in accordance with the terms of the parties’ agreement and the mix design. While Carney eventually paid Silvi for most of the concrete it supplied for the mat slab pour, Carney failed to pay Silvi in full, which left a significant outstanding balance for more than three years and led to this litigation.
The case is Constructural Dynamics, Inc. d/b/a Silvi Concrete Products, Inc., et al. v. Thomas P. Carney, Inc., et al. – Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Civ. No. 170701374.
Thomas P. Carney, Inc. was represented by Kevin Watson and Kathryn Pettit of Offit Kurman, P.C. and Arch Insurance Company was represented by Kevin Amadio of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C.