government contracts law firm rulesThe central issue when appeal a contract claim denial to the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals or any other appellate court is to be able to point to the agency record or trial evidence and to articulate the measures of calculation for your quantum damages.

Without being able to present sufficient facts and evidence, the boards will not rule in your favor. This is especially true in construction claims cases involving quantum meruit claims and unjust enrichment.

A recent case decided by the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals,  ASW Assocs. v. EPA, CBCA 2326 (Feb. 23, 2018), the Board denied the contractors claim and refused to analyze entitlement because the contractor provided no explanation or evidence for its calculation of quantum damages despite having been directed by the Board to do so. 

ASW Associates, Inc. was the appellant in this and had remediated lead-contaminated soil at a Superfund site under a contract with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Civilian Board of Contract Appeals had previously dismissed one aspect of the underlying contract appeal case where ASW Associates, Inc. alleged that the agency interfered with or hindered its performance, but where ASW Associates, Inc. failed to provide any evidence to support its allegation.

Troubling is where the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals issued directives further specifying what the contractor had to do (“the contractor must flesh out any aspect of its claim that it asserts survives and that it seeks to pursue,” this is concerning because the contractor did not comply with the Board’s order.

The government contracting agency (EPA) took advantage of this situation and filed a motion for summary relief on the aspects of the claim that remained in the appeal. EPA simply alleged in its motion that the contractor failed to provide factual support for its monetary claim in response to previous Board orders and directives. The Board in this case also made it clear that the missing information constitutes an essential element of the claim for which the contractor bears the burden of proof on appeal.

Tips for the Appeal of Entitlement to Government Contract Quantum Damages and Unjust Enrichment

  • Government contractors must always submit proof of the Quantum damages for unjust enrichment it seeks. The level of each claim’s support under the Contract Disputes Act requires that the contractor’s claim shall provide sufficient information to the contracting officer to either pay or deny the claim.
  • Courts will not decide quantum damages or entitlement if your company does not present enough detail and evidence to support claims against the federal government.
  • To support federal contract quantum damages, contractors must support the claim with documents, evidence of an explanation of the contract damages it seeks.
  • Evidence of salaries paid, labor hours expended can be very helpful.
  • Absent evidence and proof that could establish a factual basis for relief, the remainder of the contractor’s claim do not survive the agency’s motion for summary relief. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986) (summary judgment must be entered against a party who fails to sufficiently establish an essential element to that party’s case where that party will bear the burden of proof at trial).

When deciding to file a Contract Disputes Act claim with a federal agency for quantum damages and unjust enrichment, you must support such a claim. This is especially important in construction claims If the contracting officer denies the claim, it can be an uphill battle when filing an appeal to the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals.

For help appealing government contract claims cases based on quantum meruit claims to the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals or other Boards, call our government contract dispute attorneys for a free initial consultation. 1-866-601-5518.