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.

Barry Barnett

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