Thomas and Marker Construction won a $1.5 million lawsuit against Wal-Mart on December 23, 2008 through a unanimous jury verdict and court order in Federal Court in Dayton, Ohio. The lawsuit was related to unanticipated hard bedrock “in areas and at depths not indicated in the subsurface geotechnical report furnished by Wal-Mart.” This is obviously a relatively common occurrence, but the fact that Wal-Mart refused to pay the contractor for the change of conditions is the real story.
I think big box stores like this have their own requirements/guidelines for a geotechnical investigation. Does anyone know what Wal-Mart’s requirements are like? I’m guessing that just a few borings were done, but not enough to get a complete picture of the subsurface. A seismic refraction survey might have been of some use in the particular case. I wonder if Wal-Mart will now go after their geotechnical subconsultant (or their insurance company anyway) for a portion of that $1.5 million. Source: Dayton Business Journal.
Wal-Mart made it onto GeoPrac.net a few times previously with regards to their Kilbuck Landslide issues in Pennsylvania.