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Jury rules contractor violated contract in reclamation project

Published April 07. 2010 05:00PM

A jury found a contractor breached his agreement with a subcontractor and awarded damages to the subcontractor in a verdict returned Monday afternoon in Schuylkill County court.

Byrd Yeany, trading as Byrd Yeaney Seeding and Mulching Company, of Maport, was awarded $57,080. The award went against Napcon Inc., of Wilkes Barre. Judge D. Michael Stine presided over the trial.

Yeany testified he was hired by Napcon, which had been awarded a contract by Department of Environmenal Protection (DEP) to reclaim a large tract of ground on Pig Ash Mountain, which runs from Tamaqua to Coaldale, which had been strip mined by coal company and a deep pit left open for years. This was part of the state bureau's reclamation program to make the land again usable. After Nabcon filled the pit it hired Yeaney to do the re-grading and re-seeding.

Yeaney said he started work in January 2006 and when he completed he submitted a bill to Napco but received no payment.

Anthony Popple, owner of Napco, testified he refused to pay because the inventories for payment submitted were improper. He claimed Yeaney billed him for a greater amount of acreage than was re-seeded. He also claimed during that summer there was a heavy rainfall and the area was declared by the Governor a disaster area and when he asked Yeaney to redue the damaged area he refused.

Yeaney testified he refused because he had not been paid for the work he had done and considered Napcon had breached the contract.

Popple claimed his company had to do the re-grading and re-seeding and said if Yeaney had done the work on time the grass would have been up by the time of the heavy rainfall. The trial lasted one day and it took the jury less than one hour to reach its verdict.

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