April 28, 2017

Insurer alleges improper installation of sprinkler system in lawsuit over fire that destroyed Pa. building

Source: http://www.securityinfowatch.com, April 26, 2017
By: Keith Gushard

A $5.2 million civil lawsuit has been filed in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas in connection with a fire that gutted the Titusville Towne Square building more than two years ago.

The 17-count lawsuit has been filed by Erie Insurance Exchange, as it was the insurance agent for Titusville Redevelopment Authority, and Melissa Bergman, a tenant of the Towne Square. Erie Insurance is suing architects, contractors and the owner of an adjoining building claiming negligence. No trial date has been set in county court.

The suit claims negligence and breach of contract by architects and contractors in the design and installation of an automatic fire sprinkler system on the fourth floor of the Towne Square building. The owner of an adjoining building is being sued for both negligent security of her building and general negligence for letting a March 17, 2015, fire spread from her building to the Towne Square building. The suit alleges the March 17, 2015, fire at the adjoining building rekindled and set the Towne Square Building on fire March 18, 2015.

According to the suit, Erie Insurance has paid out $5,246,662.15 in insurance claims so far and wants to recoup that money plus interest, attorneys’ fees and any other costs the court “deems just and proper.”…

April 19, 2017

Roof issues delay opening of $1.5B Mercedes-Benz Stadium — again

Source: http://www.constructiondive.com, April 19, 2017
By: Kim Slowey

Dive Brief:

  • Mercedes-Benz Stadium officials have announced that issues with the retractable roof will delay the $1.5 billion venue’s opening for a third time, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • Atlanta Falcons officials said the new opening date has been pushed from July 30 to August 26, when the NFL team’s first preseason game is scheduled. A spokesman said the roof’s steel work is taking longer than anticipated, and extra time is required to adjust the signature design so that the interlocking “petals” fit with each other.
  • The roof has been the source of all the announced project delays thus far. This latest postponement means that Atlanta United, scheduled to begin playing at the stadium in July, will play elsewhere until the facility is open.

Dive Insight:

It was just a few weeks ago that stadium officials floated the possibility of a change to the July 30 opening date amid rumors that the roof was not going to be complete. This latest delay pushes the opening almost five months behind schedule.

However, even the August 26 opening date doesn’t appear to be 100% firm, as team officials said the demolition of the Falcons’ former home, the Georgia Dome, has been put on hold as “an insurance policy” in case the team has to start out the season there. The Georgia Dome field has already been removed, as well as other equipment that would have to be returned so that the Falcons could play there, according to USA Today.

The roof design, while troublesome up to this point, is the focal point of the project. It is designed to open and close like the aperture of a camera lens, necessitating precision in design and installation. The steel delivery was also a challenge. Team officials said the manufacturing of roof material had to be coordinated between 32 factories in the U.S. and Canada.

When complete, the venue will be the first LEED Platinum–certified stadium and the first sports facility to earn all of the U.S. Green building Council’s available water credits. The project also received recognition from the White House last year when the Office of Science and Technology Policy used the stadium — which will have solar-powered electric-vehicle charging stations and solar panels — as an example of sustainability.…

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.…

March 2, 2017

Edgewater condo owners sue engineering firm for $1M in damages

Source: https://therealdeal.com, March 1, 2017
By: Francisco Alvarado

Property at 2121 N. Bayshore Drive was affected by leaky HVAC, residents say

The condominium board at an older building in Edgewater is suing the engineering firm that designed the HVAC system at the property, alleging that the system caused extensive damage to the building.

In a Jan. 26 lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, Biscayne 21 Condominum Inc., which represents the 192 unit owners of the mid-rise tower at 2121 North Bayshore Drive in Edgewater, is suing Fort Lauderdale-based Hillman Engineering. Biscayne 21 alleges that Hillman was professionally negligent and breached its contract by designing a leaky system that caused damage to the building’s interiors.

The condo board is seeking more than $1 million in damages, plus attorneys’ fees. Representatives for Hillman declined to comment, and Harry Malka, the attorney for Biscayne 21, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

According to the lawsuit, Biscayne 21 determined near the end of  2010 that the HVAC system needed to be upgraded and repaired. On Feb. 15, 2011, Biscayne 21 hired Hillman to determine the extent of the repairs to the existing equipment, design a revamped HVAC system approved by the association, and oversee the installation of the new system and repairs.

“Shortly after the conclusion of the project, the new HVAC system began to experience many leaks in the new insulation,” the lawsuit states, “causing damage to drywall and flooring throughout the hallways and corridors of the property.”

Biscayne 21 hired Bosch Group, a construction consulting firm, to inspect the work performed by Hillman. On Nov. 12, 2015, Bosch issued a report documenting “numerous design and construction administration errors and omissions” by Hillman, the lawsuit states.

Biscayne 21 was built in 1964. Prices of available units start at $279,000, according to Realtor.com.…

October 29, 2013

United States: Design Professionals May Be Liable For Economic Loss Caused to Residential Homeowners Under California's SB 800 Law

Source: http://www.mondaq.com, October 25, 2013
By: Scott Hennigh, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton

Typically an architect is liable under its contract to the owner if it negligently creates a defective design. But whether an architect is liable for the effects of a defective design on parties with whom it has no contract has traditionally been a more complicated legal question. That liability question becomes further complicated when defective design does not cause property damage, but rather a diminished value of the property which is known in the law as strict “economic loss”. Usually economic loss is not recoverable unless the parties are in “privity” (meaning that they have a contract with one another). But a California Appellate Court recently held that in residential construction, design professionals can be responsible for economic loss that their defective design causes to parties that never contracted to hire them.

The Appellate Court told a trial court to reinstate a complaint brought by an association of condominium owners who sued the architect that had originally designed their condominiums for a developer. The trial court adopted the architect’s argument that it had no liability without a contract with the condominium owners. But the appellate court based its ruling on two things. First, it determined that under a line of cases dating back 50 years, design professionals may have a duty of care to third parties if a certain checklist of factors is met concerning the foreseeability of impact to the third parties such that it creates a special relationship. Second, it determined that California’s SB 800 was intended to create responsibility for design professionals. SB 800 was State legislation passed in response to a California Supreme Court case in 2000 named Aas v. Superior Court that prevented homeowner lawsuits for buildings not built to code, but which had not suffered any property damage. The court held that SB 800 was passed with the legislature interpreting then-existing law as creating such liability for design professionals, and that the statute’s language reiterated such liability. Thus, the court held that that condominium owners could directly sue the original architect for the diminished value or cost of repair of their defectively designed condominiums. The case is Beacon Residential Community Assn. v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (2012) 211 Cal. App. 4th 1301.

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March 27, 2013

Parties Settle Lawsuit Over Miller Park Roof

Source: ConstructionEquipmentGuide.com

The Miller Park stadium district and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of America reached a multimillion-dollar agreement on Jan. 7 to settle a three-year court battle over costly repairs to the ballpark’s retractable roof.

With the settlement, the two parties avoided a lengthy jury trial that was scheduled to start Jan 10.

The two sides had traded accusations ever since the Milwaukee Brewers opened the stadium in 2001 and the problems started with extensive leakage every time it rained.

The stadium district sued Mitsubishi and HCH, the general contractor in charge of stadium construction, in January 2002, alleging mismanagement and negligence in the roof’s construction. The district’s damage claim eventually grew from $5 million to nearly $49 million.

A month later, Mitsubishi filed a counterclaim arguing the district owed it money for the extra time and materials needed to complete the roof. Mitsubishi sought as much as $87 million in damages, but Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Kitty Brennan cut that damage claim to about $37 million.

The agreement, approved by the judge, calls for the stadium district to receive nearly $33 million, $4 million of which would come from Mitsubishi to cover repairs for the defects in the roof, according to settlement documents released by the district.

Mitsubishi would receive $22 million, $6 million of which would come from the district to settle Mitsubishi’s claim of cost overruns.

The settlement also releases Mitsubishi of its warranty for the retractable part of the roof, district officials said.

The district already had set aside enough money to settle Mitsubishi’s claim and will need no additional tax money, board chairman Jay Williams said.…

March 27, 2013

Second Contractor Sues Turner Construction over Lane Stadium Delays

Source: Collegiate Times, July 5, 2006
By: Lindsey Pieper

And the legal woes of the Lane Stadium expansion drag on.

In what may turn out to be a recurring refrain of legality clashes and delays, Turner Construction, the general contractor of the expansion faces yet another lawsuit.

In May, the Gate Precast Co. of Jacksonville, Fla. sued the construction group and four insurance companies in the U.S. District Court in Roanoke. According to the lawsuit, Gate sued Turner for breach of contract, claiming entitlement to $673,731. Gate filed suit against the insurance companies for a payment bond which secures payment to Turner’s subcontractors.

According to Associate Director of Athletics Tom Gabbard, who has been involved with the expansion project from the onset, the lawsuit has since gone to mediation. The original lawsuit states that Turner contracted Gate to make stadium exterior wall panels, promising to pay $1.145 million for the work.

But delays allegedly caused problems.

“There was no schedule due to the numerous delays to shop-drawing approval and start of production that were caused by others,” said the lawsuit. And these delays caused “monetary damage.”

According to the lawsuit, the installation of the wall panels was scheduled to commence in January 2005, but delays caused by Turner did not allow the construction to begin until April 2005, with implementation in the following month.

Turner had already appeared in court over similar issues revolving around Lane Stadium delays.…

March 27, 2013

Stadium construction company files law suit against Tech

Source: Collegiate Times, October 24, 2006
By: Ryan McConnell & Kevin Anderson

Turner Construction Company has filed a lawsuit against Virginia Tech, maintaining that it is still owed over $30 million for its expansion and construction work on the West Stands of Lane Stadium.

In their case, filed Sept. 13, 2006, Turner alleges that missing information, inadequate design coordination and defective performance specifications by Tech?s design team all led to the delays in Turner?s construction work on the project, especially with the structural steel design.

The project was not completed until June 8, 2006, nearly two-and-a-half years after the contract was awarded to Turner after the bidding process and 10 months after the expected completion date of Aug. 8, 2005 Virginia Tech contracted out Moseley, Harris, & McClintock to make design plans, and they in turn sub-contracted the Thornton & Tomasetti Group to plan the structural steel designs. Turner claims the steel design drawings provided by Thornton & Tomasetti failed to meet the specifications necessitated by Virginia Law as well as the contract set forth by Moseley, Harris, & McClintock.

In their complaint, attorneys from Seyfarth & Shaw LLP representing Turner Construction Company contend that while the steel design drawings were sealed by a licensed engineer, Thomas Scarangello, oversight of the design was mostly performed by Anjana Kadakia, Armindo Monteiro, Michael Delashmit, none of whom are licensed as engineers by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Turner Construction cites that in its contract with the university, they are not responsible for negligence in design.

A statement e-mailed to the Collegiate Times by the public relations manager for Turner Construction Company, Shannon Eckhart, outlined the basis for the lawsuit.…

March 27, 2013

Stadium construction leads to lawsuits

Source: Journal of Commerce, February 13, 2013
By: Peter Caulfield

Two recent high-profile lawsuits involving contracted work on football stadiums in Winnipeg and Vancouver highlight the legal mayhem that can result when teams comprising projects owners, contractors and subcontractors get their signals crossed.

In Winnipeg, the $190 million Investors Group Field, the new home of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, was supposed to open in the fall. However, construction delays forced the team to remain at Canad Inns Stadium, the team’s old facility, for the entire season.

The new field’s debut was rescheduled to the 2013 season.

According to a report in the Winnipeg Free Press, general contractor Stuart Olson Dominion Construction recently filed a statement of claim in Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench against Boucherville, QC-based Structal-Heavy Steel Construction for special and general damages amounting to more than $14 million.

In addition, Dominion Construction is suing Structal for $1 million in punitive damages for what it alleges were the steel company’s “capricious, high-handed, malicious, oppressive and arbitrary manner for the purposes of its own interest.”

Dominion claims it was construction delays, allegedly caused by Structal, that caused the new stadium to not open in time.

The lawsuit also alleges the delays led to other extra costs, including fixing water-damaged portions of the facility that had already been built, and storing stadium seating until the seats could be installed.

The allegations have not been proven in court and no statement of defence has been filed as of the beginning of February.…