Another lawsuit filed over Keller convention center

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A business working on a Jonesboro convention center has sued the contractor in charge, with the convention center company returning money back to the city of Jonesboro Tuesday.

According to court documents, Midsouth Steel claims it was never paid by Construction Network, Inc. (CNI) for some of the materials the steel company supplied for the convention center project on Browns Lane in Jonesboro.

The Illinois-based Keller Management Hyatt Hotel and Convention Center faced scrutiny from the Jonesboro Advertising and Promotions Commission in early April over funding issues.

In February, Chris Keller, whose family will own the convention center, put the project on hold to avoid issues with subcontractors.

That move didn't work.Several companies have sued over the project.

Region 8 News first reported about KEG Construction's lawsuit and lien. KEG and several others sued over money CNI owed.

Now, another business, Midsouth Steel, has filed a lawsuit.

According to the complaint, Midsouth Steel said CNI "failed and refused to make payment to Plaintiff (Midsouth Steel) on the contract and is in default on the contract."

Midsouth Steel is seeking $429,660, according to court documents.

Last week, CNI responded to Midsouth Steel's allegations.

In that court document, CNI said it has not been paid by the convention center's owner and cannot pay Midsouth Steel.

CNI claims the original agreement between the two companies contained a "paid if paid" clause.

CNI said because it's not been paid by the Northeast Arkansas Hotel and Convention Center group, it is not legally obligated under the contract with Midsouth Steel to pay for the material.

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