A tentative settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by Brookfield Local School District and the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission against two entities involved in the building of the school in 2008-11.
“We had a mediation session last Friday at the Trumbull County Courthouse and finished up with a tentative agreement(s) which are in the process of being finalized,” said school Supt. Toby Gibson. “We should hopefully have an item on next week’s board agenda.”
The school board meets March 15. The commission’s next scheduled meeting is March 23.
The settlement, if approved, heads off a trial that had been set for March 27.
The school district and OFCC, partners in the construction of the school, have identified shifting shale as causing the hallway to heave and walls to crack in the middle school. The parties have hired a construction firm to make a second attempt at fixing the problem, with the majority of the work being done starting in mid-May and lasting through the summer.
The parties filed a lawsuit against Timmerman Geotechnical Group Inc. of Akron, a consultant hired to examine soil conditions prior to and during the construction of the building in 2008-11, and prior to the first attempted fix in 2013.
They also sued the original architect, Balog Steins Hendricks and Manchester Architects Inc., Youngstown.
The suit alleges breach of breach of contract and breach of standard of care against both entities, and breach of warranties against Timmerman.
Timmerman and Balog denied the allegations, Timmerman saying its recommendations to deal with the shale were not followed.
Timmerman still exists but no longer operates under an agreement in which GPD Group, an architectural engineering company based in Akron, bought Timmerman’s equipment and hired most of its employees, according to a deposition given by Delbert Channels, director of geotechnical at GPD and former Timmerman employee.