For Immediate Release:
August 11, 2020
Following MDOT/MTA Filing, Circuit Court Judge Grants 35-Day Restraining Order to Keep Purple Line Work on Track
HANOVER, MD – Following a hearing yesterday, a Baltimore City Circuit Court judge has issued a temporary restraining order that Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP) is “enjoined and restrained" from demobilizing and abandoning the Purple Line Project until it establishes that an Extended Delay exists in accordance with the terms of the P3 Agreement. Unless extended, the temporary restraining order will expire on September 14 at 5 p.m.
The order by Judge Jeffrey M. Geller came after the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) filed a complaint yesterday in Circuit Court against PLTP. The complaint seeks, among other things, the temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction and a permanent injunction restraining and enjoining PLTP from abandoning the project until it has established that an Extended Delay exists by and through its compliance with the dispute resolution procedures set forth in the P3 Agreement.
The complaint was filed after PLTP and its Design-Build Contractor, Purple Line Transit Constructors (PLTC), had begun demobilization efforts, despite MTA's notice to PLTP that its termination based on disputed assertions is a breach of the P3 Agreement.
As indicated in the complaint, this action was needed because MDOT, MTA and the State of Maryland will suffer immediate, substantial, and irreparable injury if PLTP is permitted to abandon the Project prior to establishing any contractual right to do so, and to ignore its obligation to continue the Work on the Purple Line Project until the dispute resolution procedures that the parties agreed to in the P3 Agreement have been honored.
PLTP was obligated to follow the P3 Agreement's change order, claims and dispute resolution provisions, and resolve any disputes before declaring an Extended Delay. To date, PLTP has refused to rescind its June 23 Letter that notified MTA of PLTP's intent to terminate the P3 Agreement and, instead, it has taken steps to demobilize from the Purple Line Project.
PLTP and PLTC are basing their Notifications of Termination for Extended Delay of 365 days or more to the project's critical path on four alleged owner-caused delays: Record of Decision (ROD) Vacatur, Right-of-Way (ROW) acquisition, alleged design amendments to an agreement between CSXT Transportation, Inc. (CSX), and changing approval requirements from the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) regarding its Pond Code 378. However, as outlined in the complaint, all four of these issues are disputed assertions that are currently subject to and being processed through the dispute resolution procedures of the P3 Agreement.
Yesterday's court filing follows months of negotiations and daily discussions with MDOT, MTA and PLTP to resolve the parties' disputes. Despite these efforts and issues pending in the dispute resolution process, PLTP sent MTA a letter on Friday, August 7, 2020, maintaining its right to terminate for Extended Delay. The letter further states that MTA must execute a written assumption and assignment of PLTC's subcontracts by Monday, August 10, or PLTC will begin the process of terminating its subcontracts.