MONCKS CORNER, SC (WCSC) - Berkeley County is suing a Florida-based technology company after it says the company failed to deliver a $1 million software package by a deadline the company set for itself.
The lawsuit, filed Monday, accuses CentralSquare Technologies, LLC and Tritech Software Systems, Inc., of breach of contract, breach of contract accompanied by fraudulent acts, and fradulent inducement, unjust enrichment and violating the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Berkeley County claims in the lawsuit Tritech agreed to deliver the software for "public safety advancements" for Berkeley County EMS, Berkeley County fire departments and the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office. The agreement, signed in September 2017, stipulated that the new software would go live by no later than Oct. 31, the suit states.
But after that deadline passed, Tritech informed the county it could not deliver the software until December 2019, 14 months after the original deadline, the lawsuit states.
"Tritech’ s upper level management acknowledged that the timeline they agreed to was 'misguided' at the outset and stated that they 'should have clarified that right up front – we didn’t, that’s on us,'" the suit states. "Tritech’s inexcusable delay has and will put the lives of Berkeley County’s citizens and emergency services personnel at unnecessary risk and danger."
The county contends that its existing software was "quickly becoming outdated" by mid-2016 and that in July 2017, the county and Tritech started discussing the company's Inform Public Safety Software suite as a solution to provide needed advancements in the efficiency and safety of the county's emergency services.
The suit states the county has, as of the filing date, paid a total of $1,012,318.02 for a product the company has not delivered.
Documents state the Oct. 31 deadline was first postponed to December, then to Feb. 12. The suit alleges that the company knew it would not be able to go live by Feb. 12, but concealed this from the county.
It also accuses the company of "several fraudulent attempts" to "wrongly charge the county," including a charge for staff travel expenses when "the Tritech staff never traveled to Berkeley County."
The suit also claims Tritech had its headquarters in California but closed them and laid off hundreds of workers as a result of a 2018 merger and that CentralSquare Technologies is the successor to Tritech. The suit alleges the merger and layoffs contributed to the company's delay in providing the software.
The county is seeking actual, consequential and punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and pre-judgment interest.