U.S. Venture, Inc. v. Pa.

In 2014, Venture applied for and received two Alternative and Clean Energy (“ACE”) grants under 73 P.S. § 1649.307(a)(1)(iii). After completing the projects, Venture sought payment of the grant money. The Commonwealth Financing Authority (“CFA”) denied the request, stating Venture improperly structured the construction and financing of the project. Venture filed a statement of claim with the Pennsylvania Board of Claims, a statutory body created to adjudicate certain contractual claims involving the Commonwealth. The Board sustained the Commonwealth’s preliminary objections on sovereign immunity grounds. The Commonwealth Court affirmed. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed, finding that the written agreements explicitly qualified as “furnishing … assistance by the Commonwealth … to any person to support a program.” 62 Pa.C.S. § 102(f). And because these agreements met that definition, they qualified as “grants,” which are not subject to the limited waiver of sovereign immunity.

U.S.-VENTURE-INC.