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In a case that’s outlived two judges, a 15-year legal battle between the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and the construction contractors who built Metro’s Green Line is one step closer to resolution. The joint-venture contractor Mergentime-Perini sued the transit authority in 1990, seeking nearly $50 million for claims that two Metro contracts had been wrongfully terminated. In response, WMATA filed $28 million in counterclaims, which included excess costs for completing work on the subway line. In November, Chief Judge Thomas Hogan issued a 192-page opinion, likening the case to Moby Dick and granting WMATA $21.8 million in procurement costs and the contractor just $200,000 in damages. “The latest chapter is quite gratifying,” says Crowell & Moring’s George Ruttinger, who, along with partner Stanfield Johnson, represents WMATA. Mergentime-Perini is represented by Steptoe & Johnson’s Stephen Fennell and Peter Kutile of New York’s King & King. But the long-running saga isn’t over quite yet. Both sides dispute how interest on the judgment should be awarded. A final resolution is expected this year. The case had originally been assigned to Judge George Revercomb, who died in 1993, and then to Judge Harold Greene, who died in 2000.
Jason McLure can be contacted at [email protected].

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