Winnipeg stadium contractor suing steel building company

The company responsible for building the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' new stadium is suing one of the major subcontractors that worked on the project.

Stuart Olson Dominion seeks more than $15M in total damages from Structal Heavy Steel

Investors Group Field is slated to open this year, replacing Canad Inns Stadium as the home of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Construction has been hampered by numerous delays. (CBC)

The company responsible for building the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' new stadium is suing one of the major subcontractors that worked on the project.

Dominion Construction Company Ltd., which now operates as part of Stuart Olson Dominion Construction, is suing Structal Heavy Steel for $14.3 million in general and special damages, plus $1 million in punitive damages.

Structal, a division of Canam Group Inc., was hired to build the steel roof and bleachers at Investors Group Field, which is replacing Canad Inns Stadium as the Blue Bombers' home base.

Work on the stadium was supposed to be completed in time for the 2012 CFL season to start, but the project fell many months behind, forcing the Bombers to play the entire season at the old facility.

Stuart Olson Dominion's statement of claim, which was filed with Manitoba's Court of Queen's Bench on Jan. 22, alleges that Structal's failure to complete the work on time caused Stuart Olson Dominion "to incur significant costs to remedy the delay and complete the project."

Stuart Olson Dominion also claims it has "suffered loss and damage to its good reputation with existing and future customers and its ability to acquire future business" as a result of the construction delays.

"The plaintiff says the defendant has conducted itself in a capricious, high-handed, malicious, oppressive and arbitrary manner for the purposes of its own interest," the statement of claim reads in part.

"The plaintiff says that in such circumstances an award for punitive damages in the amount of $1,000,000.00 is warranted."

Spokespeople for Structal and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers declined to comment on the case Monday.

Officials with Stuart Olson Dominion confirmed they have filed a statement of claim against Structal, but they declined to comment further.

The allegations made in Stuart Olson Dominion's statement of claim have not been proven in court.

Legal battle dates back to September

The legal battle between Stuart Olson Dominion and Structal began in September 2012, when Structal filed a $15.6-million builder's lien against the land on which Investors Group Field is being built.

The lien was filed after disputes began over delays in installing the steel-trussed roof and other parts of the stadium.

The move forced BBB Stadium Inc., the non-profit ownership consortium between the Blue Bombers, the City of Winnipeg, the Manitoba government and the University of Manitoba, to stop making progress payments for construction to Stuart Olson Dominion.

In turn, Stuart Olson Dominion was forced to stop paying its subtrades.

Stuart Olson Dominion was required to put up a $15.6-million lien bond to satisfy the courts and unfreeze the payments.

The lien has since been removed, but Stuart Olson Dominion legally has to keep the lien bond in place until that dispute is settled.

With files from the CBC's Sean Kavanagh