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Claims (Construction, Avoidance, Delay & Disruption)

Timely recognition and proper handling of construction claims is often the key to a successful project. Gibbs Giden counsels clients with respect to claims avoidance and resolution procedures, risk management, insurance, and bonding requirements.

Additionally, our experienced team of attorneys provides clients with project management assistance, including contract administration and interpretation during performance, documentation of disputes, informal negotiations with project management, and project close-out. Documentation is essential to a claim.

Our team has extensive experience litigating delay and disruption cases, including: various Metro Rail Transit projects, Palmdale Regional Medical Center, the Port of Long Beach, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, San Francisco International Airport, John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, Kaiser Riverside Medical Center, Los Angeles County Central Jail Expansion Project, Southeast Resource Recovery Facility in Long Beach, the Space Shuttle launch facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Hyperion Wastewater Treatment Plant in Los Angeles, Coso Geothermal Plant located near China Lake, and the Aladdin and Venetian Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Published Opinions

Lydig Construction, Inc. v. Martinez Steel Corporation, 234 Cal.App.4th 937 (Cal.App. 4 Dist., 2015)

MW Erectors, Inc. v. Niederhauser Ornamental and Metal Works Co., Inc., 36 Cal.4th 412 (Cal.,2005)

Notable Cases

Currently litigating a $70 million dollar Atlanta, USA based project, Emory Point Phase II, concerning a large residential mixed use project adjacent to Emory University and near the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) involving $10 million dollars in scheduling issues, non -payment claims, lack of performance allegations and $10 million dollars in cross claims.

Addressed legal issues and contracts surrounding the multiphase renovation and expansion of the historic Rose Bowl Stadium including evaluation of procedures for consultants; effect of Bond funding on wage and apprenticeship requirements; Municipal code and resolutions regarding local workers; contractor default and takeover by performance bond surety; contractor claims and project closeout.

Successfully defended a claim against a window manufacturer and won on cross-claim at trial. Windows were manufactured in Italy for installation in Russia on a property owned by a British resident. Claim Value: over $15 million dollars with a cross claim of $1.5 million dollars

Settled a lawsuit on behalf of a developer related to the construction of a large apartment complex. Issue/Complexity: Responsibility for project delays and cost overruns. The settlement resulted in a substantial net recovery for the client. Value: The lawsuit involved claims and counterclaims in excess of $50M.

Gibbs Giden construction lawyers are frequently asked to present and author publications on Claims. Each year Gibbs Giden presents a conference, which among many other topics addresses Claims and related issues. If you are interested in receiving a presentation on claims, please contact us. Below is a sample of relevant publications.

Relevant Articles and Publications

R. Wittbrodt & K. Gibbs, Chapter 6, “Construction Claims,” California Construction Law, 17th Ed. Supplement (Wolters Kluwer Law and Business 2012-2016).

R. Wittbrodt & B. Gragg, Construction Divorce: Protect Your Client’s Claim Before It Is Too Late (Parts 1 and 2), CEB (Continuing Education of the California Bar) Real Property Law Reporter, (Part 1) September 2011 and (Part 2) November 2011.

G. Turner, Chapter Thirteen, Contractor Claims, and Chapter Fourteen, Owner Claims, CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTION LAW (HLK Global Communications, Inc., 2007).

Chapter Nineteen, Alternative Dispute Resolution, CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTION LAW (Author), HLK Global Communications, Inc., 2007.
“Contractor’s Guide to Change Orders-How to Resolve Disputes and Get Paid”, (Co-author), Prentice Hall, 2002

Richard J. Wittbrodt, Esq. and Lynsey M. Eaton, Esq. Project Suspension: What Owners And Contractors Need To Know- NOW! , Article/White Paper, CMAA Southern California Chapter Newsletter, Summer 2009.

Richard J. Wittbrodt, Esq., Prejudgment Remedies and Collection For Owners or Contractors on a Construction Project, Written Materials, Digitally Published Program Materials, The Age of Turbulence: Managing Money Issues in Construction Presented in Cooperation with the State Bar of Texas Construction Law Section and the ABA Construction Committee of the Section of Litigation, 2010 ABA Forum on the Construction Industry Annual Meeting, April 24, 2010.

Richard J. Wittbrodt, Esq. and Lynsey M. Eaton, Esq., Understanding Contractual Suspension Terms: A Risk Management Tool for Owners and Contractors CEB (Continuing Education of the California Bar) Real Property Law Reporter, Summer 2010.