published Saturday, August 6th, 2011

Two lawsuits name VW, city panel

Two new lawsuits have been filed in Hamilton County Chancery Court by companies seeking payment in connection with construction of the Volkswagen plant.

King Industries Inc. sued Volkswagen Group of America and the Chattanooga Industrial Development Board, W.J. O'Neil Co. and Siemens Industry Inc. seeking $1.6 million.

Also, D&D Automation Inc. named VW and the city panel for $109,000 the company claimed it's owed.

In King Industries' suit, the subcontractor said it and Siemens entered into an agreement to do electrical control wiring and related work.

The suit said King's performance was delayed, disrupted and at times prevented by VW, Siemens and O'Neil, which was a prime contractor. That caused King's work to be far more costly and time-consuming, the suit said, and Siemens failed to compensate King for its extra work and delays.

Also, the suit said the defendants issued and approved change orders to be performed by King for which it was not paid.

In the second suit, D&D Automation said Weldmation entered into a contract for D&D to supply materials and services on the VW project. The suit said Weldmation began last November selling its assets as a result of severe financial difficulties.

On Feb. 11, D&D sent VW a letter specifying what it was owed, but the automaker has not provided an explanation for its failure to pay D&D, the suit said.

The city panel was named in each suit because it owns the plant property and is leasing to VW.

Neither VW nor the industrial development board's attorney returned calls Friday seeking comment.

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