A Bronx security company has sued the New Rochelle office of Tutor Perini construction for $2 million for allegedly refusing to pay for guards for a project at JFK Airport.
Tutor Perini gave “insufficient justification for denying payments,” according to the complaint filed by Jess Security and Investigation Inc. on Aug. 12 in Westchester Supreme Court, and instead gave “elaborate pretexts calculated at avoiding (its) obligations under the subcontract.”
A Tutor Perini Corp. spokesman in the Sylmar, California, headquarters, and the Tutor Perini Civil office in New Rochelle, did not immediately respond to requests for their side of the story.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey awarded Tutor Perini Civil a $267 million contract in 2014 to rebuild a runway at JFK Airport. Tutor Perini hired Jess Security, a minority enterprise operated by David Imayeguahi, to provide guards at the construction site.
The security company claims that the subcontract was worth $4.6 million but it was paid $1.1 million, 76 percent less than bargained for.
Tutor Perini allegedly reduced the scope of work unilaterally and then gave that work to a firm that was not a certified minority contractor.
Tutor Perini failed to submit applications for security clearances to the Port Authority, Jess Security claims, failed to give timely notification of daily labor requirements, and then assessed charges for allegedly not providing enough guards.
Tutor Perini intentionally ordered fewer security guards than needed “to satisfy the daily requirements of the construction site,” Jess Security charges.
Jess Security guards worked at the site for about 15 months, from August 2014 to October 2015. The project was completed in 2017, according to Tutor Perini’s website.
The security company is represented by Martin J. Kernan of Whitesboro, New York.