In December, I had the pleasure of speaking with Law360 regarding “Government Contracts Cases To Watch In 2015.” To no one’s surprise, the continuing DCAA audit backlog, and the Contract Disputes Act statute of limitations, are among the topics that contractors will be following with interest in 2015. In an upcoming post, we will discuss
Last month, the Federal Circuit decided a case over 70 years in the making. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 and full-scale U.S. entrance into World War II, the government entered into a series of contracts with oil companies to ramp up production of aviation gasoline (“avgas”) desperately needed for the war effort. But along with increased production came increased waste and toxic byproducts, notably spent alkylation acid and “acid sludge.” Safe waste disposal could not keep up with production, and much of the waste was eventually dumped at a site in Fullerton, California.
Until last week, the oil companies were on the hook for the cleanup costs. Thanks to the Federal Circuit’s recent ruling, though, the government must now reimburse the contractors for their remediation costs. The discussion below traces the course of the litigation, outlines the Federal Circuit’s legal analysis, and discusses how the decision represents but one potential avenue for U.S. government contractors to recover environmental remediation costs.
Continue Reading Federal Circuit Requires Government to Indemnify Contractors for CERCLA Remediation Costs Based on “Taxes” Provision in WWII Contracts
Although the Government shut down on October 1, 2013, contractors must remain diligent in analyzing their protests, claims, and other litigation matters to ensure key deadlines are not missed. Importantly, while some Government offices are closed, most courts (including the Court of Federal Claims and the Federal Circuit) remain open and the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (“ASBCA”) and the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (“CBCA”) will remain open for receiving filings. The Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) is closed, but has advised that any deadlines falling on a date in which the Office is closed, will be moved to the first day GAO reopens, similar to how a weekend or holiday deadline is treated under the rules. Considering there is no way of knowing exactly when GAO will reopen, contractors must be ready to have their items filed at a moment’s notice. More importantly, to ensure a timely CICA stay notice is sent by GAO, protesters will want to ensure their protests are filed as early as possible. Below are more details for each venue.
Continue Reading Government Shut Down – What Does It Mean for Protests, Claims, and Litigation?