Poles made in Mexico, not America, suit claims

Kelly Holleran Nov. 9, 2011, 2:49am


An electric company was forced to pay $300,000 more than it initially was quoted after it was unable to use steel poles manufactured in Mexico, according to a recently filed lawsuit.

J.F. Electric filed suit Oct. 28 in Madison County Circuit Court against HD Supply.

In its complaint, J.F. Electric claims it began soliciting quotes from vendors on utility poles it planned to use in a contract with Wichita. It accepted a quote from HD Supply in which the company agreed to sell 1,292 steel utility poles to J.F. for $1,547,014.43, according to the complaint.

Before accepting the quote, J.F. Electric submitted specifications to HD Supply requiring that the poles be made in America. In its quote, HD Supply guaranteed that it could meet the requirements, the suit states. However, when HD Supply submitted a proposal for the materials to be used on the project, it indicated that the utility poles would be manufactured in Mexico, the complaint says.

In turn, Wichita rejected the proposal and requested that the poles be manufactured in America, J.F. Electric claims.

As a result, J.F. Electric was forced to obtain the utility poles from a different vendor, Valmont Newmark, and was forced to pay an extra $362,392.57 for them, according to the complaint.

"HD Supply's failure to tender steel poles that conformed to the required specifications was a breach of its contract with JFE," the suit states.

In its complaint, J.F. Electric seeks $362,392.57, plus interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Wayne D. Skigen and Jason D. Johnson of HeplerBroom in Edwardsville will be representing it.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-1117.

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