Court decision favours regional district

A recent court decision over a contract dispute between the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen and Associated Engineering found in favour of the RDOS.
Image Credit: shutterstock

PENTICTON - A cooperative road paving initiative between the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen and the Ministry of Transportation ended up in court following a dispute between the regional district and its contractor, Associated Engineering.

The problems began as a result of a 2005 water supply improvement project in Naramata that saw the regional district installing new water mains in the community.

Rather than simply repair the existing roadway after trenching to place the new lines, the regional district and the Ministry of Transportation came to a shared cost agreement that would see the ministry pay for full width paving rather than have the regional district simply trench and patch the ministry owned roads.

The shared cost project proved successful, but when the final bills were tallied, the regional district discovered cost overruns it said were the fault of Associated Engineering. The regional district said the estimate provided by the company was negligent, and as a result paid for a portion of the work that should have been the responsibility of the ministry.

The RDOS also claimed excessive amounts were paid to the contractor for gravel and asphalt, also alleging negligence on the company's part for recommending a change in the way the work was to be done that ultimately cost the regional district more, rather than less as the company had stated would be the case.

Justice Jon Sigurdson found in favour of the regional district, noting the district had proven Associated Engineering was negligent and in breach of the contract between the two parties. In a ruling handed down in Penticton on June 1, 2015, he awarded the regional district damages with respect to four separate claims in the order of $150,000, in addition to costs.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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