McCarthy Building Cos., St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank in Negotiations

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and McCarthy Building Cos. might soon reach a negotiated settlement in their dispute over the allegedly defective windows the building contractor had installed five years ago.

courthouseThe Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis had alleged breach of contract in a federal lawsuit filed in July against McCarthy Building Cos. and subcontractors Winco Window Co., Hilboldt Curtainwall Inc. and Architectural Glass Products LLC.

But a deal to make the litigation go away could be imminent. McCarthy Building successfully sought an extension of 30 days, according to papers filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri earlier this week by attorney Kathleen Hamilton. The two sides are currently engaged in settlement discussions and negotiations, with McCarthy Building “optimistic” that negotiations would result in a “complete resolution of the matter” prior to the end of the 30-day extension on September 12, court records show.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis claimed in filing the suit that McCarthy Building, Winco and Hilboldt Curtainwall were responsible for installing at least 498 defective windows spread throughout the first six floors of the bank’s headquarters in downtown St. Louis in 2008. The Fed was seeking more than $1.5 million to replace the windows, move employees and readjust security measures, according to the filing.

The Fed and McCarthy, which had been hired to provide construction management for renovations and an addition at the St. Louis Fed’s headquarters, tried to settle the dispute privately, but nearly two years of negotiations failed to produce a deal to which both sides could agree.

The windows in question were Winco model Nos. 3350 and 1550 that were supposed to be fixed, aluminum-framed laminated and insulating glass designed to prevent buckling, the opening of joints, the overstressing of components and the failure of joint sealants among other things. The glass was also expected to be resistant to blasts and other detrimental effects, which was desired by the Bank for security reasons, according court records.

The windows were installed in four phases from January 2008 to September 2008. However, a Hilboldt inspection of the windows in June 2011 revealed that the windows had allegedly begun delaminating along the edges and “appeared to be defective,” according to initial court documents.

Stay tuned to usglassmag.com for more news and updates as they are made available.

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