Cranes at the constructions site of the new children's hospital in Dublin.

Contractor BAM takes High Court action against National Children's Hospital board

BAM is the primary contractor building the new children’s hospital in Dublin.

BAM BUILDING LTD has issued High Court proceedings against the development board of the National Children’s Hospital.

It’s understood that the case relates to a claim by BAM for costs arising as a result of delays to the project over a two-year period.

It comes after a dispute resolution process failed between BAM and the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board.

A dispute resolution process involving an independent mediator is allowed under the terms of the contract agreed between the State and BAM for the project.

That can then go to the High Court if either party is unhappy with the mediator’s decision. If it does, one side can pay a bond to receive money offered by the mediator on an interim basis.

It’s estimated that as part of the recent dispute resolution process, BAM was awarded in the region of €20 million by the mediator.

BAM accepted and the board rejected. There was no comment received from either side when contacted today by The Journal. 

Chief Officer of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) David Gunning told the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in February that the board had been withholding 15% of payments to BAM over contractual disputes.

The Dáil’s public spending watchdog was told by the board that BAM is “underperforming”, stating that there is likely to be a “reset on the timelines” for the opening of the hospital.

Gunning also said that the contractual date for completion was August 2022, but due to the seven-week closure of construction due to Covid-19, this has been extended out by eight weeks to October 2022. He acknowledged that this is not a realistic date.

Gunning also said: “The conciliation process, for example, is a confidential process. The sharing of that information from a commercial sensitivity point of view is not permitted under the contract.”

He outlined the four-stage process under the terms of the contract, with conciliation (i.e. appointing an independent mediator) being the second-last stage and adjudication in the High Court the final stage of the process.

Comments are closed for legal reasons. 

- Additional reporting by Orla Dwyer.