January 11, 2019

Burlington reaches $2-million settlement with condo owners

Source: https://www.thespec.com, January 11, 2019
By: Teviah Moro

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward says agreement “brings closure to a long and difficult chapter for the residents of 2411 New St.”

The city’s insurer has settled a lawsuit with residents of a condo building in Burlington that has been beset with structural problems.

“This settlement brings closure to a long and difficult chapter for the residents of 2411 New St.,” Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said in a news release Thursday.

“I’m thankful to all parties for working together to reach a settlement, so everyone can now move forward.”

Lawyers involved in the $2-million settlement, which also includes four other defendants, are finalizing details to formally close the litigation.

The settlement, which the city says is not an “admission of liability” for any of the defendants, heads off a trial, which was scheduled to start in January.

The condo owners alleged the city had been negligent in approving the construction of the apartment building in 1965 and its conversion to condos in 1998.

Residents say they didn’t know about structural problems in the building until a damning engineering report in 2009.

The city had insisted the six-storey building was safe and rejected any responsibility for its problems after the condo corporation launched a lawsuit in 2010.

In late 2017, renovations started on the building after the city reached a settlement with the condo corporation in that lawsuit.

However, a second lawsuit, launched in 2011 by individual condo owners — that named the city, developers, a real estate firm and

The Burlington firm leading that lawsuit acknowledged there had been a settlement but declined to immediately offer comment.

April 19, 2017

Serious design, construction and maintenance defects doomed Oroville Dam, report says

Source: http://www.latimes.com, April 17, 2017
By: Ralph Vartabedian

Design flaws, construction shortcomings and maintenance errors caused the Oroville Dam spillway to break apart in February, according to an independent analysis by Robert Bea for the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management at UC Berkeley.

Bea, a co-founder of the center and retired civil engineering professor, found that in the 1960s, when the dam was being planned, designers did not call for a thick enough concrete spillway floor. Nor did they require the continuous steel reinforcement needed to keep its slabs intact during decades of service.

The design also did not require strong enough anchors into the underlying mountainside to resist movements downhill and from side to side.

The analysis is the first major assessment of what caused the massive damage that forced the evacuation of nearby Oroville and left the state with a repair bill likely to reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

It also sends a warning that the state’s aging fleet of dams may contain unknown defects that would threaten public safety in future wet years.

California Department of Water Resources spokeswoman Erin Mellon said the agency has not seen Bea’s analysis.…

April 18, 2017

Developer McKafka sues architect, alleging construction delays and defects at the Crimson

Source: https://therealdeal.com, April 17, 2017
By: Francisco Alvarado

An Aventura-based architecture firm allegedly left McKafka Development Group hanging, delaying construction on its 90-unit high-rise called the Crimson in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood, according to a lawsuit.

McKafka, through its limited liability company Alpine Estates, accuses International Design Engineering and Architecture, or I.D.E.A. for short, of breaching its contract and negligence, in the lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court last month.

Stephane L’ecuyer, I.D.E.A.’s principal, did not return two phone messages seeking comment. McKafka principal Stephan Gietl also did not respond to The Real Deal, but his lawyer Bruce King said, “We had several discussions to get a resolution and have been unable to do so.” He declined further comment.

According to the lawsuit, McKafka hired I.D.E.A. on Feb. 8, 2013 as the architect of record and Facchina Construction of Florida as the general contractor for the Crimson. However, the architecture firm performed poorly, the lawsuit alleges. The Crimson, at 601 Northeast 27th Street, remains unfinished today.

“I.D.E.A. failed to timely coordinate with or respond to Facchina, prepared incomplete or inconsistent drawings and specifications, and failed to perform in a manner consistent with the design schedule,” the lawsuit states.

McKafka alleges that I.D.E.A. also failed to timely respond to requests for information, change order requests, or provide staff to ensure continuity of service. In addition, according to the suit, I.D.E.A. improperly designed the garage ramps that led to substantial structural changes. The company also improperly designed the temperature control system, resulting in high humidity in the condo units, the lawsuit alleges.

Other significant revisions at the Crimson included the relocation of piles and beams and the redesigning of the height of the building’s stairs and the size of an emergency generator room, McKafka alleges. As a result of the repairs and revisions, the project was delayed and Facchina charged the developer for the delays, as well as additional construction costs, according to the suit.…