Pioneer Civil Construction, Llc V. Ingevity Arkansas, Llc Et Al

  • Court: Arkansas State, El Dorado Division, District Court
  • Case Number: 1:22-cv-01034
  • Filed: June 13, 2022
  • Judges: Susan O. Hickey
  • Case Type: 190 Contract – Other
  • Cause:28:1441 Petition For Removal–Other Contract

Parties Involved

  • Plaintiff(s):Pioneer Civil Construction, LLC
    • Counsel for Plaintiff: Judy Simmons Henry | Michael A. Thompson | Patrick Collins Hickman , Jr
    • Expert witness for Plaintiff(s): Steve Garrett, P.E
  • Defendant(s): Ingevity Arkansas, LLC| Ingevity Corporation
      • Counsel for Defendants: Dorsey R Carson| Harli Sesser | Kathryn Goff
      • Expert witness for Defendant(s): Christopher Handley

 Verdict Information

  • Verdict Date: May 3, 2024
  • Total damages awarded to Plaintiff(s): $130,000.00

 About the Case


Pioneer Construction filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Ingevity. In Spring 2021, Pioneer bid for and was awarded a contract by Ingevity to perform excavation and asphalt work for a construction project at Ingevity’s plant in Crossett, Arkansas. The agreement was documented in a Revised Purchase Order (#4502392369) dated October 4, 2021, which incorporated Ingevity Corp’s Terms and Conditions of Purchase agreement. Under the contract, Ingevity agreed to pay Pioneer $406,950 on October 31, 2021. They also agreed to pay $242,475 on November 30, 2021, and $67,825 on December 31, 2021

Ingevity paid the October 31 invoice of $406,950 but did not pay the November and December invoices totaling $310,300. Pioneer fulfilled its work obligations, with Ingevity inspecting and approving each step. Ingevity caused delays in November 2021 that prevented Pioneer from completing the work by December 30, 2021, though Pioneer had completed around 85% of the work by then. On January 4, 2022, Ingevity terminated the contract and ordered Pioneer to leave the jobsite. Ingevity claimed the termination was due to Pioneer’s safety information not meeting Ingevity’s new safety benchmark rating of less than 2.0, which was first disclosed in June/July 2021.

However, the evidence showed that under Ingevity’s own Abbottsfield vendor program, the new safety requirements didn’t take effect until March 1, 2022. Additionally, they were only calculating one year of data for Pioneer rather than the stated three-year average. Aerial photos also showed Ingevity continuing to use the asphalt road constructed by Pioneer. Pioneer argued Ingevity retroactively applied the new safety rules in violation of the contract terms. The contract had no provisions allowing unilateral changes. Additionally, Pioneer had a $248,900 subcontract with Bradley Industrial. However, it could not complete the subcontract due to being removed from the jobsite


The primary injury Pioneer Construction claims to have suffered was significant monetary damages resulting directly from Ingevity’s alleged breach of contract.

Beyond just the monetary damages, Pioneer likely suffered additional economic injuries. These include lost business opportunities and reputational harm from the wrongful termination allegations. Additionally, there was disruption to its workforce and operations.

The alleged improper breach and termination by Ingevity deprived Pioneer of the full benefit and compensation it expected to receive under the binding contracts. This forms the core injury that the lawsuit seeks to remedy through recovery of damages, fees, interest, and other relief.


Pioneer is seeking monetary damages totaling $559,200 for Ingevity’s alleged breach of their contract. . The plaintiff is further seeking an award of its reasonable attorneys’ fees and legal costs incurred in pursuing this litigation against Ingevity. Moreover, Pioneer requested punitive damages to be imposed against Ingevity. These monetary penalties are designed to punish and deter reprehensible conduct. Beyond just monetary relief, Pioneer’s lawsuit is requesting that the Court grant any other relief it deems appropriate and justified based on the facts and claims raised in the breach of contract action against Ingevity.

Jury Verdict

The jury found that Pioneer incurred damages in the amount of $130,000.00 as a result of Ingevity’s breach of contract for failing to pay Pioneer the amounts owed under the contract.

Court Documents: Available upon Request