Important Time Limit for Filing Against the State
Kegler Brown Construction Newsletter September 1, 2009
Contractors doing public work in Ohio are generally familiar with the "Article 8" dispute resolution process and delays that often occur with it. However, many do not realize that a contractor need not wait more than 120 days from the filing of an Article 8 claim to file suit. R.C. §153.16(B) provides that the contractor can file suit if that 120-day period expires. In that circumstance, the contractor's administrative remedies are deemed exhausted. So, if the State delays a resolution, or settlement talks drag on, the contractor can take action.
However, if the contractor fails to file a lawsuit in the Court of Claims for more than two (2) years after the 120-day period is exhausted, the claim will be dismissed. In the case of The Painting Co. v. Ohio State University, 2009-Ohio-645 (2009), the contractor's claim was tossed out because the contractor waited more than two (2) years before filing suit.
The moral of the story is that contractors should press the State to resolve the Article 8 process within 120 days from submission of the claim, but also be sure to file suit before more than two (2) years expire.