The Fourth Circuit today affirmed a verdict and judgment against Custer Battles for failing to compensate the company it hired to establish and provide security for a permanent camp at the Baghdad International Airport. Custer Battles hired DRC to do the work without a contract in writing. DRC built the camp and recruited British Army Gurkhas for security. A jury awarded DRC more than $1.3 million in quantum meruit and tortious interference damages. The Fourth Circuit affirmed but ordered remittitur of the $130,000 in damages that DRC conceded duplicated another element of recovery. DRC, Inc. v. Custer Battles, LLC, No. 06-1591 (4th Cir. May 17, 2007).
Blawgletter mentions the case because we remember Custer Battles as the controversial recipient of a no-bid $16 million contract to secure the Baghdad airport in 2003. The company came to life just before it won the deal; it had no experience in providing security. And several parties sued the company for fraudulent billing to the U.S. government. The Department of Defense has banned it from further contract work.