City, Lampkin Construction settle year-old lawsuit|[12/28/07]

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 28, 2007

The Vicksburg construction company owned by Ronnie Lampkin has settled a lawsuit against the City of Vicksburg and engineering firm ABMB Engineers, ending a legal standoff that lasted more than a year.

Lampkin Construction Company claimed it was owed additional payment for work in early 2006 to shore up a creek along Porters Chapel Road as part of a federally funded erosion-control initiative, completed through a grant from the National Resources Conservation Service.

Terms were not available.

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Lampkin Construction was paid $580,058 for the work completed in January 2006, but alleged it was owed a total of $654,374 based on changes to the scope of the project.

City Attorney Nancy Thomas said that a settlement was reached, and the city board voted to sign the agreement, releasing all claims. Officials did not say how much, if any, additional payments would be made.

Lampkin Construction’s work included erosion control along a segment owned by the Vicksburg Country Club, which had agreed to pay a portion of the funds not covered by the NRCS grant, said public works director Bubba Rainer.

The suit accused ABMB of negligence in drawing up the specifications for the erosion control project, and sought payment from the city for work and materials not included in the initial specifications.

In its defense, filed in March, Vicksburg denied any changes had been made to its contract with Lampkin Construction and asserted that any damages caused were the responsibility of the engineering firm, ABMB. In addition, Vicksburg had filed a cross-complaint against ABMB for authorizing payment applications that were submitted by Lampkin Construction without proper verification and for not completing paperwork to reflect changes to the project that may have been agreed upon verbally. John McKee, of ABMB, would not discuss the details.

Though terms of the agreement were not filed in the Warren County Circuit Court, $5,000 of city funds were paid to Lampkin Construction on Dec. 4, according to the Office of the City Clerk.

Separately, Ronnie Lampkin remains in the Warren County Jail on a revoked bond. He faces felony aggravated assault charges after a Dec. 10 confrontation with his estranged wife in Hinds County. That case arose after he was charged with domestic violence and kidnapping in Warren County a month earlier.