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Lawsuit focuses on tab for Super Bowl venue's turf

Super Bowl Turf Duspute Football
ST. LOUIS - As the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks prep for their showdown in next weekend's Super Bowl, a legal fight is playing out over the turf installed months ago at the NFL title game's venue.

Taylor Turf Installation Inc. is suing the MetLife Stadium's operators and the company that hired the suburban St. Louis company, seeking more than $292,000 that Taylor Turf claims it still is owed for hustling to install the New Jersey stadium's playing surface last summer.

Taylor Turf's lawsuit in New Jersey's Bergen County Superior Court names New Meadowlands Stadium Co. LLC and Dalton, Ga.-based Turf Industry Inc., doing business as UBU Sports.

Turf Industry did not return Associated Press telephone messages seeking comment Friday.

A MetLIfe Stadium spokeswoman said in an emailed statement that Taylor Turf's beef shouldn't be with the venue's operators, insisting New Meadowlands Stadium Co. LLC merely tapped the Georgia company to head the turf-installation project and has "no direct knowledge of the parties' contractual issues."

"However, we have been in contact with UBU and have indicated that we expect them to resolve this matter quickly and amicably." the stadium's spokeswoman said.

Taylor's president, Kelly Taylor, told the AP that his family-owned company has over the years laid the artificial playing surface in MetLife Stadium's predecessor in East Rutherford, N.J. - Giants Stadium - and several times in the Edward Jones Dome, home of the NFL's St. Louis Rams.

Winning the deal for the 82,500-seat MetLife, with every major U.S. turf company having bid on the work, "was a huge deal," Taylor said.

"We were beaming with pride, and we were all excited about the opportunity," he said. Given that the Super Bowl is a yearly global spectacle, this one being the first outdoors in cold weather, "we knew this field would be seen all over the world, so we gave it our best."

Taylor Turf crews expedited the MetLife work, completing the $417,000 job last July in 11 days - roughly half the typical time requirement, Taylor said. But Taylor claims payments were slow in coming, saying his company was given $125,000 early in the project "to appease us" and that he was repeatedly assured more compensation was on the way.

"All along, (chief contractor UBU Sports) kept saying, 'The payment's coming, but keep on working,"' Taylor said. "There should have been red flags from the beginning. At some point we should have stopped," stressing that "it doesn't matter how big or important this job is, we've got to get paid. But we didn't stop."

Taylor concluded that the incessant demand by the project's overseers for paperwork "was just a stall tactic."

"It's just a frustrating situation," said Taylor, whose decade-old turf-installation business is an offshoot of the Ambassador Floor Co. venture that his father launched in 1985.

It was not immediately clear Friday whether a court hearing on the lawsuit has been scheduled.

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fliptrains January 25 2014 at 12:44 PM

Take it all back. Since you haven't been paid, re-possess it. Let them play the pot bowl on dirt!

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2 replies
krug1284 fliptrains January 25 2014 at 1:06 PM

Wish they could. But law doesn't allow for that. I own a floor covering store. Once a product is installed it becomes personal property of the property owner. At that point you only can sue in court. Sucks that it is 5 1/2 months and still have not been paid.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
Diane krug1284 January 25 2014 at 2:28 PM

That's why you have to conduct your business in an intelligent way. Get half of the money up front. When half the job is done, get another quarter of the money. When 3/4 of the job is done, then get the rest & finish the job. And make sure you don't leave any of your tools there.

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Arthur fliptrains January 25 2014 at 1:42 PM

Amen to that.

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budwsr25 January 25 2014 at 4:42 PM

Pull it all up!!! LOL The NFL better get the check book out.

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warlock641 January 25 2014 at 4:42 PM

No pay, no turf. Pull it all out unless paid in full by the week before the Super Bowl. And in your law suit include the NFL. It's their showcase and spectacle. They should make sure all parties represented in the Super Bowl should be paid their due! If they can fine players, over rule referees, they should be liable for ALL aspects of the NFL.

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Kenny January 25 2014 at 4:52 PM

REPO

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rrpatreilly January 25 2014 at 4:54 PM

Have them file a mechanics lean. Then have them start to pull up the turf. Maybe then the owners would get their short arms exercised to reach their wallets. What a shame. These people paid a lot of money up front for the "carpet" and for the labor and expenses. I hope they get more than the bill that was originally submitted. DEADBEATS!

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ozziestrom January 25 2014 at 5:00 PM

Woopsie, Woopsie; Sounds like another Sandy Deal , good luck and get in line, but try to be nice! Remember, this is a New Jersey Meadowlands deal. Weird things have happened in the Meadowlands over the many years "so they say" Hummmm. The 50 yrd. line, the night clubs in the meadows, the shore, the Sandy promised money, etc. get the point !! Now who owns stadium ? Who built the stadium ? Whooooo paid for the stadium ? Come on now, pay these people. New Jersey doesn't need another black cloud....

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1 reply
filliperogers ozziestrom January 25 2014 at 6:07 PM

Its gonna be a doozy with all those black clouds. Power failure check..... coldest bowl on record check....Customers with frost bite check......snowing a blizzard check...... a sloppy game check......... Artifical turf to play on removed if it was my company ............priceless!

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mgmjam January 25 2014 at 5:07 PM

Met Life. Pay your ******* bills. That's all I have to say about that.

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Jerry January 25 2014 at 5:27 PM

You build a new stadium in the northeast and you don't put a dome over it?? WTF, stupid is as stupid does!! If the SB is snowed under, that will be that last time they get to host the dance....so much for return on investment.

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gcarlson007 January 25 2014 at 5:28 PM

I heard of a story where as a house "framer" didn't get paid for putting up a house frame. One night he went over to the site and with a chain saw cut all his work from the building! What do you do with Astro Turf, run over it with a D-10 CAT with it's rippers down? That would make headlines!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Bill January 25 2014 at 5:30 PM

That's the way the Meadowlands managment company operates.. I know first hand from working on the construction headed up by Skanska at the time.
Meadowlands/Skanska bleed the hell out of contractors for all sort of phony reasons.
The fact be know this is the worse poorly constructed sports venue in the country besides being a fire hazzard.
Feel for the turf contractor but he should have stopped when they were not getting paid as agreed. But then (depending on the contract) could have been slapped with liquidated damages for not completing the project on time. Put a lien on the property and see how fast they pay this company. No Pay No Superbowl!

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