Joint venture Maple Drake Austell Owner Inc. has filed a complaint against construction manager D.F. Pray Inc. over what it alleges was mismanaged and unacceptable construction work during a redevelopment of 47-37 Austell Place in Long Island, Queens, New York. Maple Drake seeks more than $12.6 million in damages. One example the complaint gives of D.F. Pray’s alleged mismanagement and incompetent work supervision involved the curtainwall scope of the project.
Maple Drake claims that the defendant failed to complete basic tasks such as following through on ordering critical supplies and material in a timely manner. The owner authorized D.F. Pray to award the aluminum and glass subcontract work in October 2016. At the time of that award, the curtainwall work on the vertical building addition was scheduled to begin in March 2017. The curtainwall was to be substantially completed by September 2017. However, Maple Drake alleges that D.F. Pray “inexcusably failed to diligently and expeditiously follow through in managing the aluminum and glass trade award, resulting in the manufacturing/fabrication of the curtainwall being delayed by more than one year.”
Manufacturing didn’t start until late 2017, meaning that installation was delayed until February 2018, five months after the scheduled completion for the work.
“Consequently, the curtainwall was not substantially completed until February 2019 — an inexcusable and devastating 17-month delay. This delay was especially significant and negligent, given that a curtainwall is a fundamental and critical component of the construction materials without which the project could not proceed on schedule. Pray’s breaches of its managerial responsibilities caused severe damages in this regard,” reads the complaint.
The plaintiff also claims that the delays were further exacerbated by the defendant’s failure to review the plans and field conditions in a timely manner and identify conflicts with and among subcontractors. Maple Drake alleges that this resulted in D.F. Pray’s inability to complete the exterior wall above the curtainwall and roof parapet coping as scheduled.
According to the complaint, D.F. Pray never completed the project and walked off the job in August 2019. The complaint was filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York.