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Contracts Keyed to Kuney
Laurel Race Course, Inc. v. Regal Construction Co.
Citation:274 Md. 142, 333 A.2d 319 (1975).
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In March 1972, Laurel engaged an engineering firm, Watkins and Associates, Inc., to design a plan for the reconstruction of its tracks and installation of a drainage system. Watkins was known for designing “all weather” horse race tracks. In June 1972, Regal submitted a bid and agreed to perform the work “in strict accordance” with the engineer’s plans. It also agreed to substantially complete the work by September 1, 1972 and finish by September 15, 1972. On July 3, 1972, Regal and Laurel executed a number of documents including the “General Conditions” which defined Watkins as the “Engineer” and included a slew of engineering duties as well as noting its authority over the project. Relevantly, subsection 24 stated that final payment to Regal would be withheld until production of the engineer’s “Final Certificate.”
After eventual completion of work in late September 1972, a number of deficiencies were found that Laurel’s own employees worked to remedy as well as Regal. In late November 1972, Watkins recommended that final payment be withheld because Regal “permitted a large amount of rock” to be mixed into the track’s base and Laurel’s crew had to do maintenance work to remove the rock. It was also later discovered the a drainage pipe was not properly installed. Based on this recommendation, Laurel refused to pay Regal the full amount due.
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