Who’s to Blame for the High Speed Bullet Train that Wasn’t?

Lots of fingers pointing in the aftermath of California’s ill-fated, over-budget bullet train project.  According to news sources, federal regulators were not aggressive enough in reacting to the California bullet train’s problems since 2009 while overseeing a $2.5-billion grant to the troubled project, a federal audit released Friday found.

The review by the U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general said the Federal Railroad Administration did not adequately oversee the grant to reduce financial risks in the largest and most complex grant in its history.

As a result, “the California High-Speed Rail Authority is at increased risk of not achieving the purpose of the agreements,” it said.

The California project received more than a third of federal spending for high-speed rail projects across the country and as it went over budget and fell behind schedule the Federal Railroad Administration missed opportunities to document and react to the growing problems, the audit found.

“FRA provided technical assistance to [the high-speed rail project] to improve future submissions but, prior to May 2019, did not make decisions on whether to take additional actions — such as withholding funds — to address CHSRA’s consistent failure to meet grant requirements.”

The audit, for example, examined 30 random requests for reimbursement from the grant by the rail authority and found 18 of the requests had deficiencies, including one payment request that did not include documentation for $8.28 million out of $8.32 million.

Well, the bullet train is on fast track to nowhere, but legal disputes surrounding it will likely tie up our courts for years to come. Disputes are everywhere! And when those terrible things like landlord/tenant matters, contract issues, nuisance ADA claims and even collections threaten YOU or YOUR business, call in the good guy business litigator Dean Sperling who will work to resolve YOUR matter with YOUR best interests in mind!  

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