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Construction Defect

January 23, 1998


Strict Liability


SETTLEMENT: $1,432,565.24

CASE/NUMBER: Case I.D. Confidential.

COURT/DATE: L.A. Superior Lancaster / Jan. 8, 1998.

MEDIATOR: Alexander S. Polsky, Esq. / JAMS / Endispute.

ATTORNEYS: Plaintiff - Mark B. Wilson (Klein & Wilson, Newport Beach).

Defendants - David Richmond (Richmond & Richmond, L.A.); Jeffrey Burt (Wilson, Kenna & Borys L.A.); J. Alan Frederick (Marrone, Robinson, Frederick & Foster, Burbank); Donald Scoggins (Stone & Vo, Santa Monica); Ann Michael (Harrington, Foxx, Dubrow & Canter, L.A.).

TECHNICAL EXPERTS: Plaintiff - Thomas E. Chesley, general contractor/architectural issues, Laguna Hills; Jack Weston, architect, Laguna Hills; Peter J. Poutney, civil engineer, San Diego; Mark C. Vanderslice, roofing contractor, Yorba Linda.

FACTS: Plaintiff was the homeowner's association for a 48-unit condominium project in Lancaster. Between 1992 and 1995, plaintiff discovered numerous defects in the project. The plaintiff brought this action against the defendant developers, contractors, and subcontractors based on strict liability and negligence theories of recovery.

CONTENTIONS: The plaintiff contended that the defendant developers, general contractor and subcontractors constructed the condominium project negligently, causing significant construction defects, including leaking roof structure, inadequate drainage, cracked slabs, substandard flat work and pool defects.

All defendants denied all construction defects.

DAMAGES: Plaintiff claimed damages in the amount of $2.1 million.

SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS: In May 1997, plaintiff made a C.C.P. §998 settlement demand to the general contractor for $900,000 which was accepted and paid. On August 29, plaintiff made a C.C.P. §998 for $200,000 to the developers. After plaintiff recovered over $1 million from other parties, the developers made a C.C.P. §998 settlement demand to plaintiff for $110,000, which was silent as to attorney fees. On September 12, plaintiff accepted the developers' offer and the court entered judgment against the developers in that amount. Plaintiff executed upon the developers' assets and received a check from the sheriff in the amount of $110,515.24. Plaintiff then filed a motion for attorney fees against the developers which was settled for $40,000.

MEDIATION: Several mediation sessions were held in July 1997 before Alexander S. Polsky of JAMS / Endispute resulting in settlement with most of the defendants. Subsequent settlement discussions resulted in a final settlement with all remaining defendants.

OTHER INFORMATION: The settlement was reached approximately two years and six months after the case was filed.

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Klein & Wilson

Klein & Wilson
4770 Von Karman Avenue
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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