The Wolf Trap Foundation asked a Fairfax Circuit Court judge yesterday to dismiss its $3.8 million lawsuit against the designer and builder of the Filene Center, saying that the parties have resolved their dispute over alleged structural defects in the center.
Barbara S. Wahl, an attorney for the foundation, said Wolf Trap and four firms involved in the construction of the performing arts center plan to complete an out-of-court settlement today, ending the 22-month legal battle that began after an eight-foot crack appeared in one of the building's main supports.
"Wolf Trap is very pleased with the outcome," Wahl said.
Wahl and other attorneys said a confidentiality clause enjoins them from discussing the terms of the agreement. It was unclear whether the private nonprofit foundation would recoup the total cost of repairs.
The cracked beam has been bolstered by an elaborate support system, and more than 100 minor repairs have been performed on other parts of the building, she said.
"From time to time, additional problems surface. At this point, we're just praying that nothing else shows up," Wahl said.
The four firms included in the settlement are Dewberry and Davis, the Fairfax architectural firm that designed the Filene Center; G&C Construction Co, the general contractor; Globe Iron Construction, the subcontractor that produced the cracked beam, and Martin Processing, another subcontractor that manufactured girders used to support the roof, lawyers said.
Wolf Trap and the four firms were to go to trial Dec. 7 for what would have been a nine-week battle of expert witnesses, lawyers said.
In court papers filed in January 1986, Wolf Trap charged that the Filene Center was not "properly or adequately designed" and faulted the builder for "numerous instances of improper or inadequate construction." The two companies brought their subcontractors into the case.
The foundation initially sought $3 million for repairs and later raised its claim to $3.8 million.
Gerald O'Brien, a lawyer for Dewberry and Davis, said the architect denies there were any design flaws. "I don't think it can be said that we conceded anything."
Officials at G&C and Globe did not return telephone calls, and Martin Processing officials could not be reached for comment.
Attorneys said the agreement does not rule out the possibility of future litigation involving about a dozen other contractors named in a web of earlier lawsuits but tentatively removed from the fray by a judge.
The center, which occupies the first national park for the performing arts, was built after the original building burned in 1982.