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Casino, Builder Settle Defect Case

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

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A five-year lawsuit over allegations of shoddy work at a casino project in Colusa, CA, has ended in a $20 million settlement.

Hunt Construction Group, a Scottsdale, AZ-based construction company owned by AECOM; SOSH Architects, of Atlantic City, NJ; and their subcontractors have settled with the owners of the Colusa Casino Resort after two-and-a-half months at trial in the Sacramento County Superior Court, the Sacramento Business Journal recently reported.

© iStock.com / Pierre Desroisers

The construction defect lawsuit involved allegations of leaking roofs, walls and windows in the casino's hotel and restraurants.

In April 2011, the Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians claimed at least $38 million in damages and expenses from work performed at the casino. The tribe had hired Hunt Construction and Sosh Architects to expand the casino in 2004, including the addition of a hotel, a warehouse space and two restaurants, according to the report.

Leaks Discovered

Just five years after the construction project was complete, the windows began to leak, the tribe alleged in the construction defect lawsuit. Further, other safety and structural issues in the hotel and restaurant were reported, including wall and roof leaks, improper installation of sprinkler systems, and construction elements failing to meet building codes.

Hunt Construction—one of the country’s leading commercial construction management firms—denied responsibility, according to the report.

The tribe was forced to shut down the hotel in 2010 to make the needed repairs; it reopened in 2012, the Business Journal reported.

Lengthy Legal Issue

Meanwhile, the owners filed suit and the lengthy mediation process with the companies began. Reports said more than 650 documents were filed with the court. Hunt was said to have filed a separate lawsuit against subcontractors it said were ultimately responsible for the defects. A few of those companies settled with Hunt and some settled with the tribe on their own.

stack of paper
© iStock.com / ivanastar

Over 650 documents were filed in the case, according to reports.

SOSH settled with the tribe but stayed in the lawsuit seeking reimbursement from Hunt, who continued to deny responsibility, forcing the case to trial in January.

The parties agreed to the settlement in late March.

“The tribe wanted the right thing to happen,” the plaintiff’s attorney Dan Steinberg told the Business Journal. “They wanted Hunt to step up and take responsibility, and Hunt finally did.”

Hunt Construction did not immediately respond Tuesday to a D+D News request for comment on the case.

AECOM, the global engineering design firm, acquired Hunt Construction Group in July 2014.


Tagged categories: Business matters; Commercial Construction; Construction; Laws and litigation; Lawsuits; water leakage

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