Alessi accused American Piledriving Equipment Inc., maker of the largest pile drivers in the world, of breach of contract, May 4 in federal court, White Plains. Alessi claims it has had exclusive rights since 1996 to sell APE equipment and parts in the Northeast.
But APE, the complaint states, has sold equipment and replacement parts directly to customers in the territory.
“We have not had time to the review complaint and have no comment at this time,” Dan Collins, APE president, said in an email message.
APE bills itself as the world leader in making deep foundation construction equipment. Its pile drivers are used to pound poles into the ground to provide foundation support for buildings and other structures.
Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, for example, incorporates a thousand massive steel pipes that were driven deep into the river bed, then filled with steel-reinforced concrete, to support the new span. A hydraulic hammer manufactured by J&M Foundation Equipment – now owned by APE – was involved in the 2016 incident in which a huge crane collapsed onto the Tappan Zee Bridge as it was driving piles.
No serious injuries were reported.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration concluded that the contractor had used a hydraulic hammer with a corroded and damaged part and had violated generally accepted standards.
Alessi sells the hydraulic tools used in construction and demolition.
Alessi states in the complaint that APE renewed their distributor agreement in 2012, granting exclusive rights in the Northeast for the J&M Robovib and excavator equipment. The territory includes ten states and parts of Canada.
Alessi was also granted the right to sell APE equipment outside of its territory for a 2 percent commission to APE, and APE agreed to direct sales and rentals to Alessi.
Alessi claims APE violated the deal by selling equipment and parts directly to customers, including a $163,000 purchase by Moncon Inc., a Mount Vernon construction company, a year ago.
Alessi is demanding a formal accounting of all APE sales in the Northeast back to 1996 and a judgement of at least $2 million.