Tempo Apartments LLC v. Express Construction Company Inc. v. High Country Contractors Inc. et al.
Plaintiff Tempo Apartments LLC is the owner of a 32-unit, two-commercial space property located in Magnolia, Seattle. Defendant Express Construction acted as General Contractor for the construction of Tempo Apartments, completing construction in 2009. In 2013 Tempo Apartments LLC’s members retained Casey to assist them in coordinating and implementing a building envelope inspection. The inspection confirmed the existence of more than 1/2 million dollars in construction defects. When presented with the findings, the General Contractor, Express Construction, balked. This resulted in litigation against Express and its various subcontractors. We are happy to report another successful resolution. Tempo Apartments LLC’s members achieved a settlement resolution in excess of the amount necessary to perform the required repairs.
Pacific Center Condominium Owners Association v. Pacific Rim Center LLC, Paul Liao, Darwin Liao and Mei Yea Liao et. al.
The Pacific Center Condominium, a six-story building located in Seattle and composed of 50 condominium units and three floors of commercial space, was approximately eight years old when the owners concluded the “big” Seattle law firm representing their interests was not getting the job done. After terminating this firm, the homeowners retained Chase Alvord and Chris Casey and their respective law firms. The multiple Defendants were represented by some of the best construction/contractor defense firms money can buy, Stanislaw & Ashbaugh (now Ashbaugh Beal), Todd & Wakefield, Lee Smart, Lane Powell and Reed McClure. After establishing the Defendants’ original construction efforts were deficient, and after defeating the Defendants’ arguments that statutes of limitation prevented the eight-year-old claim, the homeowners prevailed and were successful in obtaining a multimillion-dollar settlement, giving the owners the ability to replace the entire exterior of their 10-year-old building with a new exterior envelope, and at no cost, including recovering 100% of Plaintiff’s attorney fees and costs. As with all of our projects, Casey also provided the owners post-litigation legal services (negotiating contracts, etc.) free of charge.
Excalibur Apartments LLC v. Global Development LLC General Contractors/Michael R. Mastro
Excalibur, located in Bellevue WA, was constructed in 2004 and comprises more than 100 apartment units. At some point, after the completion of construction, the building’s professional management company noted ponding/pooling water at unit decks and parking. Repeated attempts to address the issues were not entirely successful. Approximately seven years after the completion of construction the building owners authorized Casey to organize, manage and proceed with a thorough building analysis to determine the existence of any additional issues. This analysis confirmed the existence of construction defects pertaining to the exterior building envelope and certain interior issues. At the conclusion of two years of hard-fought litigation, the Defendants’ insurers were forced to pay our clients almost $2 million to assist the owners in proceeding with necessary repairs.
Parkside Place Condominium Association v. Pacific Builders Inc.
Parkside Place, a one-building condominium project containing eight units, came to us with problems pertaining to the exterior envelope of their building. More specifically, the project’s building paper and siding were installed in violation of the Uniform Building Code. Casey was successful in recovering the money necessary to correct the building paper and siding deficiencies, including related building damage, and recovered all of the attorney fees and costs expended during the course of litigation.
2410 NW 58th Street Owners Association v. RQC Inc.
The six homeowners living at 2410 NW 58th Street approached us approximately two years after the completion of the construction of their homes. Though, by outward appearance, the project appeared sound and the developer made every assurance this was the case, during the course of an independent investigation it became apparent shortcuts in construction were taken and these shortcuts were contributing to property damage. As the owners were unable to work with the developer in producing a satisfactory conclusion to the construction issues, the owners were forced to retain Casey. As a result of tenacious litigating the owners were able to recover the amounts necessary to repair the damage and correct all of the construction issues.
The Bering Homeowners Association v. Balfour, Incorporated et. al.
The Bering is a 23-unit project that had an incorrectly installed roof. The roof allowed water to penetrate portions of the building, causing property damage. After only a few months of litigation, the defendant agreed to pay all the costs associated with repairing the roof and all of Plaintiff’s attorney fees and costs.
Compton Meadows Homeowners Association v. RODCO Construction Company et. al.
The developer of this 54-unit community decided to retrofit vinyl windows by stripping them of their flanges. The results were easily predictable. A number of the windows leaked. Nevertheless, the window installer refused to respond to the owner’s requests for assistance, claiming his company was no longer in business. Chris Casey recovered enough money to perform remediation at the windows and to pay all of Plaintiff’s fees and costs incurred during the litigation.
King Arthur Court Apartments LLC v. Global Development LLC General Contractors/Michael R. Mastro
King Arthur Court Apartments, located in King County, was constructed in 2001 and comprises more than 100 apartment units. In 2009 the owners of the apartment building requested Casey to coordinate and manage a building envelope inspection. The inspection confirmed defective original construction. Despite the fact the owners waited eight years before approaching Casey and filing a legal action against the original developer/contractor, Chris Casey succeeded in defeating the Defendants’ statute of limitation arguments and succeeded in recovering almost $2 million to assist the owners in proceeding with necessary repairs.
Blueberry Place Homeowners Association v. Northward Construction Company, Northward Homes, Inc, MacDonald Miller Residential et. al.
This 57-unit 24-building community contained some of the worst construction seen by this firm. The case involved Casey in litigation against seven different builder/insurance defense law firms at the same time. The Blueberry developer/contractor not only installed the siding and windows incorrectly, causing water penetration, but they also installed each home’s hydronic heating system incorrectly, leading to rupturing pipes inside wall cavities. We discovered, with the assistance of a prominent University of Washington Professor and plastics expert, that the plastic hoses used in the heating system, and that snake through each unit’s wall, were incorrectly manufactured. Though the installer, McDonald Miller Residential, at first refused to accept any liability, four days before trial and after successfully having the defendant’s expert excluded from testifying at trial, the defendants paid all requested sums. Chris Casey was successful in obtaining money sufficient to pay for the repair and replacement of all of the construction defects, including the replacement of the hydronic heating systems. The homeowners also recovered 100% of their attorney fees and litigation costs; significantly more than $4.4 million.
Harbor House Homeowners Association v. Harbor House, LLC and Alper Northwest, Inc.
This 56-unit, six-story project was originally an apartment building constructed in 1962. In 1998, the developer purchased the building and “converted” it into a condominium community. During the conversion, the developer discovered and did not disclose that the project contained asbestos and leaking windows and roof. The owners hired a competing law firm. After months of inactivity by this firm, and a $22,000 bill, the homeowners hired Chris Casey. After months of tenacious litigation against the defense firm of Ogden Murphy Wallace, Casey obtained enough money for the owners to perform all of the repairs and also enough to reimburse them 100% for the costs of investigation and attorney fees.
Turnberry Lane Homeowners Association v. MKD Development
This 34-unit townhome community contained vinyl siding that was incorrectly installed. In addition, the concrete patios were installed abutting the vinyl, allowing water to wick up under the vinyl and onto the OSB (oriented strand board – essentially woodchips and glue). Using our prior relationship with the insurance company’s assigned defense attorney and experts, we were able to settle this matter within months and in an amount that allowed the owners to perform all repairs and pay for the cost of the investigation, including 100% of the attorney fees.
Wethersfield Homeowners Association v. Sundquist Homes, Inc.
The 20 Wethersfield unit owners did not know at the time they purchased their homes that the developer improperly installed windows and roofs. Though this project is not a condominium, which causes significant legal issues, we were able to successfully “insist” the insurance carriers pay for all necessary repairs, including repairs to each window and roof, and 100% of the homeowners’ costs and attorney fees. The homeowners did not have to institute any special assessment to pay for these repairs or the litigation.
Thompson Townhomes Owners Association v. Thompson Land & Engineering and James Thompson
The 12 Thompson Townhomes unit owners purchased their units in 1999. In 2002, a unit began leaking due to an improperly sloped and waterproofed unit deck, and improperly installed building paper behind the exterior siding. Casey discovered the project was missing hold-downs and structural supports, in addition to water penetration problems. The developer did not have sufficient insurance. Nevertheless, we prosecuted the case successfully and ensured the homeowners had more than enough to perform all repairs. The owners recovered all of the funds required to perform all of the repairs and enough to pay for their investigation. Chris Casey volunteered to reduce their attorney fee agreement with the homeowners in order to ensure they did not have to pass a special assessment to pay for any of the repairs.
Sir Gallahad Apartments LLC v. Global Development LLC General Contractors/Michael R. Mastro
Sir Gallahad Apartments, located in King County, was constructed in 2003 and comprises more than 100 apartment units. In 2009, the owners of the apartment building requested Chris Casey to coordinate and manage a building envelope inspection. The inspection confirmed defective original construction. At the conclusion of almost two years of litigation, wherein the insurance companies’ attorneys attempted every means to get our client’s case dismissed, and after Casey defeated each of the Defendants’ many attempts to have the matter tossed out of court, Casey succeeded in recovering almost $2 million to assist the owners in proceeding with necessary repairs.
James Lewis v. Horgenson Construction
Mr. Lewis purchased a beautiful $700,000 home. Unfortunately, shortly after moving, Mr. Lewis discovered his home leaked due to improperly installed siding (EIFS). In this case, utilizing our relationships with prominent construction defect defense attorneys (both Todd and I are former construction defect defense attorneys), we settled this matter in months. Casey volunteered to reduce his attorney fee in order to ensure all repairs were funded without cost to our client.
Silver Leaf Six v. Intracorp
Silver Leaf is a 2-unit complex with poor construction that resulted in water penetration into the units. The developer rejected the homeowners’ request to assist them in investigating the issues and correcting the issues. Chris Casey was successful in “convincing” the developer’s insurance carrier to assist in paying for a complete investigation and paying 100% for the repair of the defects discovered and 100% of Plaintiff’s attorney fees and costs.
Sinclair Condominium Owners Association v. MKD Development, Inc.
Sinclair Condominium is a 32-unit, 12-building community located in Juanita. The original construction included poorly installed siding and drainage. Chris Casey successfully recovered 100% of the funds necessary to repair all of the sidings and remediate the faulty drainage system; more than $1 million. The Plaintiff also recovered 100% of its litigation costs and attorney fees.
Palisade Park Homeowners Association v. Carino Homes, Inc. and Seamark Property Management Co.
Palisade Park is a 74-unit, 12-building project located in DuPont, Washington. By the time the homeowners approached us, two-thirds of the homes were beyond the applicable statutes of limitation. The homes were more than six years old. With some creative lawyering against five different insurance defense law firms and an aggressive investigation plan, Casey secured from the defendants and their law firms all of the money required to remedy the construction defects and pay for the costs of investigation and attorney fees 100%. The Plaintiff recovered more than $4 million.
Savannah Oaks Condominium Owners Association v. Carino Homes, Inc., Scott Carino, Anthony Carino and Ernie Carino
Savannah Oaks is an 82-home community composed of 13 buildings. The homeowners approached us after confirming their project’s construction did not meet applicable building code standards and after the developers refused to work with them. Unfortunately, the owners approached us after a number of the homes’ statutes of limitation expired, i.e., the homeowners waited too long. Nevertheless, with some aggressive litigation, Casey was able to recover all of the money needed to perform the necessary repairs, and 100% of the attorney fees and costs of the investigation; more than $3 million.
Villaggio II Apartments LLC v. Belay Architecture LLC
Villaggio II Apartments, located in Tacoma, comprises more than 145 units in addition to commercial space. At the conclusion of construction, the owner discovered below-grade water penetrating the parking area and entrusted Chris Casey to coordinate and manage construction analysis. This analysis, in turn, confirmed problems existed pertaining to the below grade’s original design. Though a “new” area of law in the state of Washington, Casey pursued a negligence and breach of contract claim against the owner’s construction management professional, Belay Architecture. Because “negligent construction” is so new, the Defendant’s insurance assigned defense counsel vigorously fought the claim, in part, in an attempt to discourage the Plaintiffs from pursuing the action. Defendant’s efforts failed. Casey defeated every motion to dismiss the Plaintiff’s negligent construction claim. Finally, after exhausting all of its defenses, the Defendant’s insurance company paid to resolve the matter.
Yehle Park Homeowners Association v. Carino Homes and Scott Carino
Yehle Park is a 32-unit community composed of five buildings, located in DuPont. After discovering that a number of communities in DuPont were suffering from latent/unseen building defects, the homeowners contacted us for advice. At no upfront cost to the owners, Chris Casey assisted the owners in ensuring thorough building investigations occurred. The investigations confirmed the existence of significant dry rot due to poor construction. Chris successfully recovered from the multiple defendants and their insurance companies 100% of the costs necessary to correct the defects; more than $1 million. Casey also assisted the owners in negotiating construction contracts to implement the remediation plan. Casey always provides continued post-litigation assistance to the owners at no charge.
Madrona Court Townhomes Owners Association v. Charles Nathan, CNSS, Inc. and Nathan Construction
Madrona Court, a six-home community constructed by the defendants in 1999-2000, contained mold, dry rot and damage to both the interior of homes and the exterior of the buildings. After a two-week jury trial against one of the most experienced defense attorneys in the state, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Casey and the owners and confirmed the defendants’ failure to construct the homes in compliance with applicable Washington law. The jury also confirmed the defendants were 100% responsible for the resulting property damage and the Plaintiff’s attorney fees and litigation costs. As with all of our projects, Casey provided the owners post-litigation legal services (negotiating contracts, etc.) free of charge.
Ballard Condominium Owners Association v. Ballard Residential LLC and Continental-Bentall LLC et. al.
Ballard Condominium, a six-story 163-unit condominium community was constructed between 1999 and 2001 by Ballard Residential, LLC. Approximately two years after the conclusion of construction the Association commissioned a building envelope inspection. Fortunately, the inspection was commenced before the expiration of any deadline for seeking construction repairs from the original builder/seller. The results of the inspections were disappointing. Numerous construction failures were discovered, including dry rot.
Ballard Residential LLC, the seller and general contractor for the project, was formed specifically for the construction of Ballard Condominium. Ballard Residential LLC was formed by a Canadian company, Continental-Bentall. Continental-Bentall was formed by two other companies, Canadian developer Bentall Capital and Washington company Continental Pacific. Often, with the development and construction of multifamily housing, there are numerous “layers” of corporate entities. The various corporate layers are often confusing; purposefully so. We were able to sort out the various corporate “layers” in order to achieve a successful resolution for the homeowners and successfully litigated simultaneously against six different insurance defense law firms.
McNeil Circle Owners Association v. Quadrant Homes
McNeil Circle, a 12-unit condominium community located in Pierce County and constructed by Quadrant Homes, retained Casey to assist the community in facilitating an intrusive inspection to determine the means and methods of construction. Casey approached Quadrant and negotiated an agreement for Quadrant to fund more than half of the costs of the investigation. Utilizing a neutral inspection team, the Association discovered numerous areas of construction that required remediation. Casey thereafter successfully negotiated an additional agreement with Quadrant requiring it to fund all necessary repairs and attorney fees.
Westview Estates Homeowners Association v. RE Properties, Capstone Properties, Washington First International Bank et. al.
Westview Estates is a residential community comprising 24 single-family homes, located in South Seattle. Construction began in 2000, upon receipt by the developer of a $3 million development loan by Washington First International Bank. Eventually, over the course of three years of construction, the loan was increased to slightly more than $4 million. Despite the additional money, by 2004 it was clear the developer was unable to complete and sell more than half of the homes. The developer defaulted on its bank loan in early 2004. Thereafter, Washington First took the property back and created its own, wholly owned subsidiary, RE Property. The Bank created RE to complete the construction and sell the homes for a profit. In 2007, the city stopped the Bank and its subsidiary from attempting to sell any more of the homes. In 2007, city of Seattle building inspectors identified defects with the underground utilities, retaining walls and other aspects of the construction and, as a result, issued multiple Notices of Violation, with associated fines and penalties. After terminating a competing law firm, the homeowners retained the services of Casey. Washington First International Bank in turn hired K&L Gates, a well-known and established international law firm with offices located on three continents and employing more than 1,800 full-time attorneys. After approximately 70 hours of deposition testimony, more than 12 pretrial motions and after 16 months of hardcore litigation, on the day before trial the Defendants threw in the towel and agreed to fund a settlement in excess of $1 million, including paying for all necessary repairs, litigation costs and attorney fees.
Shadow Hawk Homeowners Association v. Shadow Hawk LLC and Pageantry Communities of Washington Inc.
Shadow Hawk is a 98-unit, 15-building community located in south Seattle. Within four years of taking over management of their community, the homeowners discovered mold growing inside some of the units. Thereafter the owners retained Chris Casey to advise them through the investigation process. Upon conclusion of the investigation confirming construction defects, the owners attempted to negotiate a resolution with the builder/developer, Pageantry Communities. At first, Pageantry attempted repairs that were not successful. Eventually, Pageantry stopped responding to the owners’ concerns and litigation ensued. After 14 months of litigation, the defendants finally agreed they could not risk a jury trial against Casey and 98 homeowners and agreed to pay a multimillion-dollar settlement that ensured all of the defects were repaired, the plaintiff’s litigation costs were reimbursed and the plaintiff’s attorney fees were paid in full.
Remington Court Owners Association v. Remington Court LLC
Remington Court is a two-building eight-unit development constructed of light-gauge steel framing and an exterior skin composed of sheet metal. Shortly after construction, the owners noticed excessive concrete cracking and building settlement that resulted in a small amount of water leakage. The owners retained Casey and, after filing suit, obtained a settlement with the developer’s insurance carrier in an amount necessary to complete repairs and compensate for fees and costs. Casey voluntarily reduced his fees to ensure the owners retained the amount necessary to accomplish repairs.
Mountain View Villas Condominium v. Mountain View Villas LLC
Mountain View Villas is an 18-unit, six-building condominium project. The homeowners began experiencing construction problems shortly after acquiring their homes. Concerned with the legal pitfalls of managing a construction defect investigation unassisted by counsel, the owners retained Chris Casey. Due to the owners’ limited resources, and the substantial costs of litigation, the owners entered into a Contingent Fee Agreement with Casey wherein he agreed to assist the owners in overseeing and funding the owners’ investigation until the conclusion of litigation. Shortly after being retained, Casey directed the owners’ investigation, which confirmed the defendant’s construction failed to meet industry standards and was causing property damage. After exhaustive discovery and intense motion practice, on the eve of trial, the defendant agreed to fund all necessary repairs and agreed to reimburse the owners for expenses and pay for the owners’ attorney fees.
Sapphire Condominium Owners Association v. Sapphire Associates NW, LLC
The Sapphire project is a Mike Mastro-designed and constructed multifamily community comprising 55 homes. This case presented several unique issues. First, Mr. Mastro was in bankruptcy court/proceedings that required Casey to maneuver the claim from the bankruptcy court to the superior court. After the case was removed from bankruptcy proceedings, Casey confirmed the only asset the defendant had was a $2 million wasting (a/k/a cannibalizing) insurance policy; meaning the maximum recovery for the client was $2 million minus any amount the defendant paid for its attorney fees and costs. The longer the litigation went on the less money the client could recover. Cases like this typically require the defendant to expend between $300,000 and $500,000 on attorneys and experts. However, because of Mr. Casey’s prior employment as a defense attorney for the construction industry, Casey was able to rely on his personal contacts in the defense community to bring this claim to speedy resolution, and with minimal defense fees and costs expended. In turn, the homeowners were able to recover enough money to pay all its costs and to proceed with all necessary repairs.
Blakely Commons Condominium HOA v. Blakely Village LLC
Blakely Commons is composed of 104 condominium homes, located in two buildings. At the time each unit was sold the defendant buried within each purchase and sale agreement a Warranty Addendum containing a mandatory arbitration provision. After moving into their homes the owners began noticing construction-related problems. In the winter of 2005, an investigation confirmed construction defects contributing to property damage. Upon receipt of the expert’s report, Casey informed the defendant of the issues and requested the defendant respond. Despite the owners’ and Casey’s patience, the defendant failed to proceed with its own investigation and/or adequately respond to the owners’ notice of defects. In January 2006 Casey filed suit on behalf of the owners, alleging breach of express and implied warranties, violation of the Washington Condominium Act, breach of contract, violation of the Consumer Protection Act, breach of fiduciary duty and misrepresentation. Pursuant to the purchase and sale agreement’s mandatory arbitration clause, the defendant demands the owners participate in arbitration (a venue not favored by homeowners, who prefer jury trials). The owners rejected the defendant’s arbitration demand and, in response, the defendant requested the court enter an order forcing the matter into mandatory arbitration. Casey defeated the defendant’s arbitration demand at the trial court. In response, the defendant filed an appeal. Casey again defeated, this time at the appellate court, the defendant’s attempt to enforce its mandatory arbitration contract provision. The defendant again appealed its loss, this time to the Supreme Court of Washington. However, after having expended huge sums fighting Casey, and fearful of losing again, this time at the Supreme Court, the defendant threw in the towel and entered into a million-dollar-plus settlement agreement with the owners.
The Harford Insurance Company v. City of Lynnwood
This dispute arose out of flooding at Gold Park, a public park in the City of Lynnwood, caused by the City of Lynwood’s failure to properly maintain flood control systems within the Park. As a result of the City’s negligence, flooding overflow from the Park damaged a neighboring piece of property and the Castle Building, located on the adjacent property. One of the tenants of Castle Building was HWA Geosciences, who was insured by Hartford Casualty Insurance Company. HWA made a claim for property damage and lost income, which Hartford paid. In turn, Harford sought reimbursement from the City on account of the fact that the flooding was caused by the City’s negligent maintenance of flood controls located within the Park. The matter proceeded to trial and, as a result, Casey & Skoglund’s Todd Skoglund achieved a verdict in favor of Hartford. The City was forced to reimburse Hartford in an amount equal to Hartford’s payments and was necessitated by the City’s negligence.
SPCA (Project name withheld as required under the terms of the final settlement agreement)
In 2009, a 48-unit retirement community located near Bellevue, Washington, constructed in 2007 by a Fortune 500 company identifying itself as an “expert” in the field of residential construction, contacted us out of an abundance of caution. Though there were no obvious construction defects and the 48-home community was only 2.5-years-old, the Association requested Casey assist the community in identifying whether the promises made by the Fortune 500 developer/seller, i.e., that the homes were built with care and in conformance with applicable building codes, were true. Casey utilizing a team of professionals it has relied on for over seven years managed an investigation process that included a review of the means, methods and materials used in the construction of the 48 homes. After preliminary investigations confirmed the developer’s/seller’s promises were not accurate, Casey attempted a cooperative approach with the developer/seller. The intent of the cooperative approach proposed by Casey was to reach a consensus with the developer/seller on what aspects of the construction contained defects that were more than technical building code violations. Despite the Association’s reasonableness in only focusing on defects that actually shorten the useful safe life of the homes, rather than engage in good faith to reach consensus, the developer/seller attempted to dodge the allegations. This resulted in litigation which, in turn, resulted in the defendant’s own experts opining that this Fortune 500 “expert” in the field of construction built the project in a manner that fails to meet even the minimum standards of construction in our state. The defendant’s/Fortune 500 company’s own experts confirmed the cost of repairing the developer’s/seller’s work was approximately $1 million. Shortly thereafter the developer/seller threw in the towel in the face of aggressive litigation pursued by Casey. It agreed to pay the community an amount necessary to perform all of the repairs, to pay for all of the expert services, and all of the litigation costs and attorney fees; the Association was made 100% whole! (The terms of the settlement agreement prevent us from identifying the value of the settlement or the name of the Fortune 500 developer/seller).
Success in a construction defect case more often than not begins with the initial building envelope inspection. Contact us for free consultation and advice on how to proceed with a successful preliminary building envelope inspection.
Front9 Condominium Association Litigation (details withheld as required under the terms of the final settlement agreement)
Casey resolved litigation of Front9 Condominium Association after one year. The case was pursued against one of the top five west coast developers in Washington.
Front9 started off as a 264-unit apartment building, originally constructed in 1992. The defendant purchased the property in 2006 and, thereafter, proceeded with what amounted to cosmetic repairs to certain of the 14 buildings’ building components. The result of the defendant’s refusal to address construction problems included interior mold growth around window trim and, in certain units, mold growth damage extending to the interior wall surfaces. Additionally impacting the units’ livability was the defendant’s refusal to address unsafe second and third-floor walkway railings. In sum, the damages included over a million dollars in repairs.
While conversion cases, i.e., where an apartment building is turned into condominiums, are notoriously difficult to prosecute due to developer defendants’ ability to prevent the plaintiff from accessing their financial resources, Casey succeeded in acquiring more than enough money to pursue all of the required repairs (more than a million dollars), including all attorney fees and associated costs – continuing Casey unbroken conversion condominium winning streak!
Illumina Apartments v. Global Development; Mastro
The Illumina Apartments is a 109-unit, mixed-use project consisting of two six-story buildings in Seattle. The Illumina is approximately six years old and contains both office space and apartments overlooking Lake Union. Michael Mastro Sr. oversaw and contracted for the construction of the project. Global Development LLC General Contractors, a company owned and operated by Mr. Mastro’s son, Michael Mastro Jr., constructed the project.
Within months of completion of construction, the project exhibited its first signs of water penetration and failed construction, resulting in damages. The Owners of Illumina Apartments, East Apartments LLC, hired Chris Casey based on his proven track record in the field of commercial construction litigation, and after East Apartment’s prelitigation attempts to engage the building seller proved unsuccessful. During the course of litigation, as a result of Mastro Sr.’s involuntary pull into bankruptcy, Casey was forced to get creative with his claims against Mastro. This included successfully establishing all actions taken by Mastro Sr. pertaining to the project, and including hiring Global Development for the construction, were done by Mastro as a Member of the Plaintiff, East Apartments LLC. Making this assertion and establishing this fact, successfully pulled the litigation against Mastro out of bankruptcy, where it likely would have sat dormant for six years or more and exhaustion of any potential funds. This resulted in a successful settlement of the claim in an amount in excess of that anticipated by the Plaintiff; the amount necessary to proceed with all of the required repairs and to pay for, in full, all costs and attorney fees incurred during the course of the approximate 14 months of litigation.
2ndStreet LLC v. Mastro Properties; Global Development, et al.
2nd Street is an 82-unit, five-story apartment building located in Bellevue. The developer constructed the project using an EIFS exterior barrier system. Developers know, or should know since the mid-90s that this product simply does not work in the Pacific Northwest. Individual units started experiencing water penetration only one year after construction. The developer, Mr. Mastro, ignored the owner’s plea that comprehensive analysis and repairs be undertaken. After attempting to work with the builder for approximately five years, the owner hired a well-known national law firm to assist them. After months of litigation, and after receipt of a $20,000 bill, the owner fired its nationally recognized law firm and hired the Casey Law PLLC.
We were able to “convince” the developer to fund a complete “strip and reclad” (complete removal of all EIFS, building paper and ruined OSB). We “convinced” the developer to pay for all mold remediation and lost income experienced by the owner due to lost rents, including 100% of attorney fees, i.e., more than $3,750,000.
20th Avenue Ventures, Inc. v. Tepco Premium Finance Company, Cochran & Company and John Evans Insurance Agency
This case involved three insurance companies that simply refused to honor their contract with a commercial building owner. The owner’s building burned and the owner incurred damages exceeding $300,000. The owner retained Casey to assist it in pursuing the money promised under relevant insurance policies he purchased. After pursuing simultaneous litigation against three different insurance defense law firms, Casey recovered enough money to perform all of the repairs and reimburse the owner 100% of its investigation costs and attorney fees.
Lake City Place Apartments v. Hawk Construction LLC and Ready Construction Company
Lake City Place Apartments consists of 39 units and was built in 1996. Shortly after purchasing the investment property, the owner engaged defendant Hawk Construction who agreed to remove and replace all of the project’s siding and each of the unit decks. In turn, defendant Hawk employed subcontractor Ready Construction, who agree to provide all labor necessary to perform the work. Shortly after the defendants claimed they completed their contract obligations and after the defendants were paid in full, the project began experiencing water penetration at and around work performed by the defendants. After engaging Casey to assist in recovering the costs associated with the defendants’ defective work, Casey moved for a pretrial judgment that the defendants were in violation of their contracts. Casey’s pretrial motion succeeded, resulting in the defendants’ early termination of the lawsuit and agreement to pay all costs associated with their defective work, including all of the plaintiff’s attorney fees and investigation and litigation costs.
Edmonds Harbor Inn v. Donahou Design Group, Architects, Danda Corporation of Oregon and Bordak Brothers LLC
Our client, Edmonds Harbor Inn (“EHI”), entered a $2-million construction contract with Danda Corp. for the construction of a three-story, wood-framed building EHI intended to utilize as a hotel. In turn, General Contractor Danda Corporation retained numerous subcontractors to assist it with the construction. Approximately three years after completion of construction EHI noted pooling water on decks and additional evidence that the work performed by Danda and its subcontractors may not comply with existing construction standards. After repeated attempts to reach a resolution without resorting to litigation failed, EHI retained the services of Casey. With the assistance of Casey, EHI completed a comprehensive investigation of the work performed by the Defendants. At the conclusion of the investigation process, EHI’s fears that construction defects existed were confirmed. In response to the defects and EHI’s inability to reach a resolution with the Defendants, Casey filed a lawsuit against the Defendants on behalf of EHI. After approximately 13 months of tough litigation against three large, well-respected and aggressive construction defects law firms, Casey prevailed and obtained a resolution that permitted our client to commence and complete all required repairs.
Shoreline 88 LLC v. Global Development General Contractors LLC and Michael Mastro
This case presented a particular challenge; how to recover against a bankrupt former developer.
Our client, Shoreline 88 LLC, is the owner of an 88-unit, six-story apartment building, aka Arabella Apartments.
Arabella Apartments was constructed in 2007. The project was developed by, and construction facilitated by Michael R. Mastro, one of the most powerful and prolific developers in the Pacific Northwest. Mr. Mastro entered into a contract with his son’s company, Global Development, to perform the construction of the apartment building. Until 2007 Mr. Mastro was the owner of Shoreline 88 LLC. In 2007, he sold his interest in the LLC and, like clockwork, shortly thereafter the LLC’s apartment building began evidencing signs of poor/defective construction. The defects included standing water on unit decks and the building’s roof, and water penetration at the below-grade parking. In response to this discovery, Shoreline 88 LLC and its new owners retained Casey. With Casey’s assistance, and after attempts to reach out to the builder/developer failed, Shoreline 88 LLC commissioned a thorough building envelope inspection. At the conclusion of the inspection process, managed by Casey, in addition to confirming the issues with the decks, the building’s roof and the below-grade parking, the inspection also identified problems with the project’s windows and doors.
The difficulty with this case is that the typical subject of litigation, the typical “defendant” under these circumstances, is the seller of the LLC, i.e., Michael R. Mastro. The problem was that Mr. Mastro was the subject of the biggest bankruptcy in Washington State’s history. While Casey had every expectation of again convincing a Court and jury that the LLC’s seller / Mr. Mastro should be held liable for the costs of repair because Mr. Mastro’s assets were tied up in the bankruptcy any victory would, at best, ring hollow. Mr. Mastro’s assets were out of reach. This is where creative advocacy, a hallmark of Casey & Skoglund, comes into play. Instead of suing Mr. Mastro, the LLC’s seller, Casey argued that Mr. Mastro’s contract with his son’s construction company should, instead, be viewed as a contract by and on behalf of Shoreline88 LLC, thereby making Shoreline 88 LLC the proper party to bring legal action against the builder, Mr. Mastro’s son’s company, Global Development.
This case was recently resolved after six days of trial for significantly more than a million dollars. Casey drafted and organized the repair efforts for the benefit of the owner.
Camelot I and II v. Global Development General Contractors and Michael Mastro
Camelot I and II consist of 256 apartment units. Construction of Camelot I concluded in 2001 and 2004. Construction of Camelot II concluded in 2006. Shortly after the conclusion of construction of each of the five buildings comprising Camelot I and II, our client detected water penetration at the below-grade garage. The developer/contractor offered to perform and did perform repairs. However, and based on additional issues that began to present themselves, our client requested Casey manage a complete investigation into the means and methods of construction, and prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitation (with few exceptions, construction defect actions must be pursued within six years of completion of construction). Relying on longstanding relationships in the construction industry Casey marshaled a complete analysis of each of the buildings and produced written reports documenting issues requiring remediation. As may be expected, publication of the issues with the original construction did not result in remediation of the issues by the developer/contractor and litigation ensued. Despite an aggressive defense that included not less than six different motions by the defendants to limit our client’s claims, the defendant and its insurers capitulated and agreed to reimburse our client more than $2 million, reflecting the money necessary to perform repairs.
Guinevere v. Global Development General Contractors and Michael Mastro
Guinevere Apartments, located in Seattle, is a 141-unit apartment community comprised of two buildings and underground parking. Construction of Guinevere Apartments concluded in 2003. Shortly after the conclusion of the construction of the project, our client performed a building envelope analysis that concluded certain aspects of the construction did not meet minimum construction standards. After attempts at negotiation with the developer failed, our client interviewed Casey and our major competitors, ultimately choosing Casey as its attorney. Upon investigation of the developer, Casey determined it no longer existed and its owner was protected by bankruptcy declaration. Casey maneuvered around both of these issues and achieved a resolution with the developer’s insurers for more than $2 million, including fees and costs of litigation.