City of Stamford to File Lawsuit Against School Building Contractors

The City of Stamford and its Board of Education have announced intentions to file a civil lawsuit against two companies that the district said failed to maintain city schools. City officials said the failures created some expensive problems.

In 2018, the city found some alarming problems district-wide. Most notably was mold growing in more than a dozen schools. Health concerns prompted dramatic action starting first with major construction work.

The city intends to file the lawsuit against two facilities management companies, ABM Industry Groups, LLC and A.F.B. Construction Management of Trumbull, Inc.

The companies were hired to maintain Stamford schools. Now, the city has said that neither firm lived up to its contract, resulting in the widespread mold problem.

City officials said Stamford has spent nearly $50 million to remediate the schools, including at Davenport Ridge Elementary, where classrooms are currently being stripped and rebuilt.

Stamford officials say the city is seeking both compensatory and punitive damages in excess of the $50 million dollars spent.

"From the onset, we promised to hold the responsible parties accountable and this lawsuit is the means we've chosen to achieve that result," wrote Michael Handler, Stamford's Director of Administration.

"As a matter of company policy, we do not comment on pending litigation," said an ABM spokesperson. "ABM disputes any assertion that it violated the terms of its contract with the Stamford Board of Education and looks forward to responding to these meritless claims through the appropriate channels."

Al Barbarotta, President and CEO of A.F.B. Construction Management of Trumbull, Inc., said he had not yet seen the lawsuit. He said he would defend the company against "frivolous claims."

The complaint below was provided to NBC Connecticut Investigates by the City of Stamford. 

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