HLP Construction Team Overturns Unsupported ODOT Debarment of Contract

Hahn Loeser’s Construction team, led by Andrew Natale and Jud Scheaf, obtained a resounding victory in a recent ruling by the Summit County Court of Appeals for our client, Karvo Companies, Inc., against the Ohio Department of Transportation.

In 2017, ODOT revoked Karvo’s certificate of qualification which immediately cut off Karvo from public bidding.  This was essentially a death sentence for Karvo, which obtains most or substantially all of their work from public projects.  At a subsequent administrative hearing, ODOT upheld the disqualification, which was summarily confirmed in an Order issued by ODOT’s Director.

While courts are typically deferential to state agencies and are reluctant to interfere with their decisions, our team was able to marshal the record in a manner that enabled the trial court to see through ODOT’s improper actions and restore our client’s rights.

Our team first obtained an order on April 2, 2018 from Judge Gallagher in Summit County, which stayed the enforcement of ODOT’s Notice and the Director’s Order, allowing the client to resume bidding on public works.  Then, on December 20, 2018, Karvo received more complete vindication, as the Court reversed the Order of the Director in its entirety.  The Court methodically reviewed the allegations made against our client, repeatedly finding that there was no reliable, probative, or substantial evidence supporting the findings of the Hearing Officer.

Read more about the impact of this ruling on Karvo in this article in the Akron Beacon Journal.