Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Jury selection is under way in Shreveport on a breach of contract claim by a contractor who says its bankruptcy was due to the city of Shreveport's failure to pay what it is owed. At issue is Whitaker Construction’s claim for $5 million in damages from the city as a result of the $33 million Independence Stadium upgrade project (left). Independence Stadium is home of college football's Independence Bowl.
Whitaker had been Louisiana’s third-biggest contractor until the city’s failure to pay drove it into bankruptcy. Its financial problems caused it to give up a considerable amount of business, including the city’s $71 million convention center project, and the company’s president was even jailed under an odd Louisiana law that provides that contractors who don’t pay subs can be jailed for five years.