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Milwaukee contractor sues over airport snow removal (UPDATE)

A Milwaukee contractor is suing a New York company for failing to pay more than $40,000 it owed on a snow removal contract at General Mitchell International Airport.

Birchwood Snow & Landscape Contractors Inc. filed suit Wednesday in Milwaukee County Circuit court alleging that Ferrandino & Son Inc., a national property management and commercial construction company based in Farmingdale, N.Y., ceased payment in the midst of a three-year agreement to remove snow in front of the Hertz Corp. car rental company location at the airport.

According to the complaint, Birchwood subcontracted with Ferrandino in October 2010 for the job and received payment until December of last year.

But from January through March of this year, Ferrandino withheld $41,807.92 owed to Birchwood, according to the complaint.

Hertz hired Los Angeles-based property management company CB Richard Ellis Inc. to provide maintenance services at locations operated by Hertz, according to court documents.

CBRE contracted with Ferrandino to provide snow removal at several Hertz locations, including Mitchell airport and Birchwood was hired to perform the work in Milwaukee.

According to documents attached to the complaint, Ferrandino failed to pay seven invoices dated Feb. 1 to March 31, 2011.

Officials at Ferrandino, which was founded in 1993, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The scope of work performed by Birchwood included salting, de-icing and dump truck removal of snow at a rate of $70 an hour.

Birchwood’s attorney, Mark Schmidt of Godfrey & Kahn SC, argues in the lawsuit that Ferrandino’s account manager told Birchwood that CBRE continued to make payments to Ferrandino for, in part, services Birchwood performed for Hertz in Milwaukee.

But Ferrandino failed to pay Birchwood and Schmidt alleged that the potential misappropriation of money entitles Birchwood to $125,423.76, or triple the initial amount owed to the company.

Officials at Birchwood declined comment and directed all inquires to Schmidt, who could not be reached for comment.

According to the complaint and Birchwood’s website, the company specializes in snow removal, landscaping and maintenance services for large retail and corporate properties in Wisconsin.


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