Maryland Court of Appeals Rejects School Board's Attempt To Raise Sovereign Immunity Defense


On April 26, 2011, the Maryland Court of Appeals rejected the Board of Education of Worcester County's attempt to avoid paying BEKA Industries, Inc. $1.1m in additional costs incurred during the construction of a school by raising the doctrine of sovereign immunity. This decision is a benefit to contractors and subcontractors who do business with school boards across the State as well as to Maryland's taxpayers. It benefits contractors and subcontractors who do business with school boards by eliminating the risk that a school board will not honor its contractual obligations while hiding behind the doctrine of sovereign immunity. It benefits Maryland taxpayers because, by eliminating that risk, free market competition, which ensures value to the taxpayer, can continue to operate efficiently and contractors and subcontractors will not have to incorporate the additional risk that a school board will refuse to pay and hide behind the doctrine of sovereign immunity into school board pricing.

Harrison Law Group is proud to have had a role in this decision as we were selected by the American Subcontractors Association, the American Subcontractors Association of Baltimore, and the D.C. Metropolitan Subcontractors Association to represent them, as amici curaie (friends of the court) at the appellate level. A copy of the brief filed by Harrison Law Group in the Court of Appeals can be viewed here and the opinion of the Court of Appeals can be viewed here.

See related video:

School Boards Not Protected By Sovereign Immunity - [VIDEO]