Archive for Sunday, August 15, 1999

PENNY CONSTRUCTION FILES THIRD-PARTY PETITION IN LAWSUIT

August 15, 1999

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The company that has been sued for installing defective flooring at Robinson Center contends that the flooring was exactly what the university ordered.

Penny Construction Co. Inc. has responded to a state lawsuit by filing a third-party petition alleging that a manufacturer is to blame for faulty flooring at Kansas University.

Kansas Atty. Gen. Carla Stovall filed a civil suit last month contending that dance flooring Penny installed at Robinson Center didn't meet specifications and failed to perform.

Now Penny is saying that Kenneth Snipes Fabrication/Design Inc. of Fort Worth, Tex., which manufactured the L'Air International floor system, is to blame.

In a response filed recently in Douglas County District Court, the company owned by Dean and Sheri Penny says KU chose the flooring it wanted.

Andrew Ramirez, attorney for Penny Construction, said the state's lawsuit targets the wrong defendant.

"There was no other way to fulfill this bid except to use this flooring," Ramirez said. "They wrote the specifications in such a way that you could only buy this kind of flooring to install from this particular manufacturer."

Christopher Burger, an attorney in Stovall's office, sent Snipes a letter on May 12, saying, "We have been supplied a grossly and deceptively defective product."

Penny entered into a $62,251 contract with the state March 21, 1997, for the flooring project.

The state says the floors, used for dance and choreography classes, failed to meet the contract's specifications, court documents say.

"The flooring was not suitably supplied or installed under the acceptable standards of the industry and trade," the lawsuit alleges.

The state is suing for $65,807. KU will have to replace the floors, the lawsuit says.

The attorney general's office is handling the lawsuit because the flooring -- a capital improvement project -- was installed on state property.

Snipes did not return phone calls left at his Fort Worth residence.

-- Deb Gruver's phone message number is 832-7165. Her e-mail address is dgruver@ljworld.com.

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