Jury orders UI to pay $2 million to A&P Samuels over a contract dispute

A jury ordered the University of Iowa to pay more than $2 million to a Des Moines construction firm over a contract dispute surrounding the football practice facility. The UI plans to appeal the ruling.


Wyatt Dlouhy

The Old Capitol building is seen in 2018.

Kate Pixley, News Reporter

A jury on Feb. 25 ruled in favor of a construction group and ordered the University of Iowa to pay more than $2 million plus interest in restitution over a nearly six-year-long construction dispute.

Jeffrey Stone, the lawyer for Des Moines construction group A&P Samuels, alleged in court documents that the UI and the state Board of Regents neglected to pay the company for services rendered on a football practice facility on Iowa City’s West Side.

“Iowa wrongfully and in violation of state laws continued to ‘withhold retainage’ throughout 2018,” the documents said.

Both the UI and Samuels cited judicial precedents in contract law in an attempt to prove their case.

RELATED: UI, Modern Piping in court over Hancher and Stead Family Children’s Hospital projects

Samuels filed a request for the UI to pay the jury-ordered sum of $2.26 million. The request has not been fulfilled.

The UI and the regents requested a new trial, stating they would appeal because of alleged errors in the first trial.

The UI alleged the jury was swayed to prejudice by Samuels against the UI because of Samuels’ claim that the dispute drove it out of business, according to court documents.

According to court documents, the UI requested a stay to halt further legal proceedings, arguing that immediate repayment is not in the state’s best interest because of the UI and the regents are public institutions.

The conflicts between the UI, the regents, and various construction groups over the fulfillment of construction contracts are ongoing.

The UI and Samuels decision comes several months after a different case involving the UI and Cedar Rapids construction company Modern Piping. The case stemmed from a dispute over how much the UI owed Modern Piping for construction on the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital and the new Hancher.