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Shreveport businessman waits to get paid - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Shreveport businessman waits to get paid

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SHREVEPORT, La. -

A local business owner who got burned on a project for the Shreveport Fire Department is hoping for his payday.  But that could come at a price for Shreveport taxpayers.  a $40,000 bill could end up costing more than three times that amount. Air Products Company owner David Akers says the city basically blew him off.  He has spent the last 5 years battling the city of Shreveport.  In 2008, he bid and was awarded a contract for an exhaust system at the city's fire maintenance facility.  it was under the direction of Bernhard Mechanical Contractors.  According to court documents, Akers was the only one to bid on the project.  He ordered the equipment.  But within months, his proposal went up in flames.  He says the product was ready to ship when the city decided it was not the manufacturer they wanted and refused to pay him.  Akers' company had to eat a $37,000 loss.  Last month, he finally got his day in court.  Caddo District Judge Roy Brun sided with him.  He agreed what happened was intentional.  Judge Brun awarded Akers the $37,000 plus 18% interest on the money.  The judge then ordered the city to reimburse Bernhard Mechanical Contractors for the money and the interest.  That could total $80,000.  Add in the $40,000 paid for the exhaust system that was installed in the maintenance facility and the cost of the project now triples.  But that's not all.  The city used outside attorney Mary Winchell to argue its case.  According to the city, her law firm get $115 an hour, plus expenses for any case it handles.  Her costs have not been factored in.  City spokesman Rod Richardson says the city plans to appeal Judge Brun's decision.

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