On August 25, 2023, in ECC CENTCOM Constructors, LLC v. United States, COFC No. 21-1169, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (“the Court” or “COFC”) barred ECC CENTCOM Constructors, LLC (“ECC”) from asserting claims that should have been asserted before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (“ASBCA”) citing the doctrine of claim preclusion.
At the ASBCA, ECC had appealed a termination for default and sought time extensions and damages due to excusable delay. The Board dismissed ECC’s appeal, finding that the Contracting Officer (“CO”) acted reasonably in terminating the contract and finding that ECC failed to present its excusable delay claims to the CO as required under M. Maropakis Carpentry, Inc. v. United States, 609 F.3d 1323 (Fed. Cir. 2010). ECC requested a stay to allow it time to present its delay claims to the CO, but the Board denied the request stating that it was untimely and futile because ECC’s own expert testified that less than half of the delays were excusable, which meant that the CO’s termination decision would still be justified. ECC appealed the ASBCA’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, where the Board’s decision was affirmed.
Continue Reading Strike When the Iron is Hot: Court of Federal Claims Found a Contractor’s Defense to a Termination Was Precluded by its Failure to Previously Assert Those Claims in Litigation Before the ASBCA