Chicago company's contract dispute nearly settled

Legal issues can exist at virtually all points of the life of a business, regardless of its size. In the beginning, they take the shape of business formation and financing. At the end, dissolution. In the middle there are a multitude of situations in which legal assistance can be vital to life of a business. Contract disputes are but one of the possible legal issues that can arise.

It appears a contract dispute involving Chicago-based W.W. Grainger Inc., the U.S. Postal Service and the General Services Administration, may be nearing resolution. Last month the business created a reserve totaling$70 million to settle a pricing dispute the company has with the U.S. government.

The pricing issues at the heart of the dispute date back to 2008 and earlier when it was alleged by a former employee that the business was engaging in the practice of overbilling the government on supply contracts. The business supplies repair and maintenance products to a variety of different customers.

W.W. Grainger appears to want to clear the matter up so that it will not impact future contracts with the government. This is not surprising when one considers the fact that customers are necessary to the survival of all businesses.

At this point the contract dispute has not yet been completely resolved. Before it is final it must be approved by the U.S. Justice Department. It is unclear at this point whether the settlement proposal will meet any resistance at that level or if it will be taken care of for once and for all.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "W.W. Grainger sets aside $70M to settle pricing dispute with U.S." Becky Yerak, Oct. 16, 2012

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