James P. "Pat " Purvis was the general contractor who built the
U.S. pavilions for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. To
ensure that these buildings would be finished on time –
thereby assuring that the fair would open on time
– Purvis used his own funds to pay for the GSA's many
"change work" orders. However, the
government stubbornly refused to fully reimburse Purvis, and he was forced
to seek restitution through the courts.
What ensued was a 17-year battle that was
described by one judge as a sad example of the phrase
"justice delayed is justice denied." When Purvis
finally prevailed, the Claims Court was
legally unable to provide any adjustment in the award to
account for inflation. As a result, Purvis'
attorneys turned to Congress for private relief.