A pair of South Miami-based construction firms are back in court over a dispute to build new conveyor sections and other work at Miami International Airport. RJR Construction last month sued Munilla Construction Management, or MCM, alleging that it breached its contractual obligations.
It’s the second time RJR has filed a complaint against Munilla regarding the same issue. The first, filed in 2014, was dismissed this past February because RJR failed to attach a copy of its bid solicitation for the airport job to its lawsuit. Mitchell Jacobs, an attorney representing RJR, declined comment.
Danny Munilla, general counsel for MCM, told The Real Deal that the company had not been served a copy of the latest lawsuit. “In the old complaint, RJR’s allegations were unfounded,” Munilla said.
The work RJR bid on is part of a $50 million miscellaneous construction contract MCM manages on behalf of the Miami-Dade Aviation Department awarded in 2011. As the contract manager, MCM was responsible for competitively bidding jobs to licensed contractors and subcontractors.
According to RJR’s most recent lawsuit, RJR and another firm, Jordim International, were the only two firms to bid for a project “to furnish and install new conveyor sections and related construction work” at the airport. Even though Jordim submitted a lower price, the firm should have been disqualified because it was not a state licensed general contractor at the time of the award, the lawsuit states. Jordim is not named in either lawsuits filed by RJR.
“Upon learning of this info, RJR investigated Jordim’s general contractor licensing status and informed both Miami-Dade County and MCM of the irregularities in the bidding process,” the lawsuit says. “RJR believes MCM has breached the contractual obligation by ignoring the information presented by RJR and choosing to hire an unlicensed contractor.”
Munilla denied the allegations. “After performing our due diligence, we determined Jordim was the lowest responsible bidder,” he said. “They have the requisite licenses and small business enterprise certification. That is our position.”
RJR is seeking damages for its bid preparation and bid protect costs, as well as to establish that RJR should have been awarded the bid.