Construction Claims & Litigation

Construction Claims & Litigation

Overview

Cox, Castle & Nicholson represents a variety of project participants such as owners, EPC and general contractors, developers, public agencies, and design professionals in a broad range of complex construction claims arising from public and private works projects, and from all forms of project delivery systems including design-bid-build, design-build, multi-prime, and other contractual models.

A Unique Interdisciplinary Approach To Handling Complex Claims

Our litigation attorneys have handled hundreds of complex claims and litigation matters involving all aspects of construction including those involving diverse legal theories and damage recovery methodologies. Given our complementary Real Estate, Land Use, and Risk Management and Insurance Practices, and our collaborative interdisciplinary approach, we are in the unique position of having a breadth of expertise that few firms possess. This experience enhances our ability to evaluate and resolve construction claims arising from all project types regardless of size. Our construction attorneys are experts in the resolution of these and other claims categories:

  • Bid protests
  • Change order disputes
  • Defective workmanship
  • Design professional liability
  • Differing site conditions
  • Impact claims involving delay, acceleration, disruption, and productivity
  • Licensing
  • Lien law remedies including mechanic's liens, stop payment notices, bond enforcement, and others
  • Payment disputes
  • Scope of work disputes
  • Terminations

Relationships With Construction Experts

Over the years, we have developed extensive relationships with an array of leading experts and construction consultants which allow us to create the right team to evaluate the merits of the claims thoughtfully and to establish reasonable parameters for their resolution both during and after project closeout.

Utilizing Insurance Coverage To Resolve Disputes

In addition, we are renowned for recovering insurance proceeds and often full coverage from insurance carriers for many of the construction-related claims we handle. We have extensively analyzed and tested theories of liability and defenses in the indemnification and construction insurance context.

Experienced Trial And Mediation Counsel

Whether a contract dispute between an owner and a contractor or a multi-party complex construction defect action, our attorneys understand our clients' business goals and objectives for any construction matter. With this understanding, we advise our clients on the best strategy to approach their dispute efficiently and effectively. Although we have taken countless construction cases to trial, judicial reference, or arbitration, we pride ourselves on developing winning strategies to efficiently resolve a construction claim as early as possible. Our litigation attorneys are knowledgeable about the various alternative dispute resolution tools and are aggressive in recommending and pursuing such alternatives when they are in the best interests of the client. We closely monitor all federal and state legislative and regulatory developments to keep abreast of the rapidly changing legal and regulatory environment surrounding construction issues in order to ensure the superior quality of our representation.

Representative
Matters

Assisted in the representation of contractor in connection with claims at Corona Community Hospital and project suspension. Simultaneously prosecuted claims against the project architect and its design consultants.

Defended a solar energy generator against extensive claims by prime contractor over construction of solar energy generating stations in desert.

Prosecuted multi-million dollar claims on behalf of a national contractor against subcontractor and performance bond surety arising from defective work on an Indian hotel and casino.

Recovered multi-million dollar settlement from a city on behalf of a general contractor in connection with claims for unpaid contract balance, improper termination, defective design, and impact/delay claims against a city arising from $18 million sports facility. Defended against alleged False Claims Act violations.

Recovered a substantial settlement for the general contractor in connection with the Big League Dreams project in Chino Hills. The project included six claims arising out of the construction of replica major league stadiums, turnstile entrance, restaurants, bars, batting cages, corporate offices, indoor soccer arena, volleyball courts, skateboard park, and other features.

Successfully defended an owner against a $3.4 million claim by a trade contractor on high-rise, multi-prime project following rulings on motions that because contractor was not licensed for substantial scopes of work it performed it must disgorge payments.

Defended a major construction lender against mechanic's lien priority claims and bonded stop notice claims arising from borrower-owners' failures to manage projects.

Represented a developer in a $15 million dispute with the contractor and various subcontractors over delays in the construction of a ski resort.

Obtained a mediated settlement for a bank and its homebuilding subsidiary under multiple CGL and umbrella liability policies in a $350 million reformation and bad faith action arising out of soils and concrete conditions in several hundred homes.

Prevailed on a motion for summary judgment by our client, a general contractor, against a subcontractor's CGL insurer in a complex fatality action and shifted liability for a $6 million underlying judgment to the subcontractor's insurer under an additional insured endorsement, recovered the client's defense costs, and obtained substantial Brandt fees for the insurer's bad faith.

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Prosecuted defect and fraud claims against a general contactor and subcontractors for high-end luxury residence located in Santa Barbara. Variety of significant construction defects involved. Obtained multi-million settlement in favor of homeowners from general contractor and subcontractors.

Represented a construction lender in litigation resulting from catastrophic landslide on ocean front golf course. Handled disputes involving the cause of the slide, possible fixes, insurance coverage, loan defaults, bankruptcy, and all related issues.

Represented one of California's largest residential/commercial developers in defending and prosecuting numerous multi-million dollar delay and disruption claims in projects throughout Southern California, including multiple luxury high-rise condominium projects, mixed-use projects and townhomes. The litigation included the prosecution (and defense of) claims against general contractors, subcontractors, engineers, architects, and others involved in the projects.

Obtained a favorable settlement for an owner of a multi-million dollar home in litigation against the builder for failure to maintain a contractor's license and against the builder and the numerous subcontractors in a complex construction defect action.

Represented a residential builder in multi-million dollar construction claims case against major general contractor. The project involved condominiums in residential towers in Marina Del Rey. The lawsuit involved mechanic's lien claims, as well as delay claims, change order claims, claims involving completion of construction and punch list work, and a smoke transfer claim. Obtained substantial settlement with general contractor and numerous additional settlements with subcontractors and suppliers.

Represented a developer in construction claims lawsuit involving construction of concrete curb and gutter median on a public roadway. Lawsuit involved mechanic's lien dispute and dispute over change order work, delay damages and defective construction. Lawsuit also involved contractor's license issues and fraud claims. Defended against alter ego claims against a number of other defendants.

Received a court judgment after a three-month trial awarding $5.9 million for delay damages to the owner of a 23-story office building. The owner was assessed 20% of the fault for delay. The contractor received nothing on its $2 million claim. In addition, attorney's fees and costs of almost $1 million were awarded.

Represented the developer of a luxury high-rise condominium project in a class-action for claims for fraud and defective construction. After a four-month jury trial, a defense verdict was rendered in favor of the developer.

Co-chaired 8-week jury trial in California state court defending national homebuilder in a class action involving claims of fraud, negligence and breach of warranty, with monetary exposure of approximately $55 million. Secured favorable rulings during trial which resulted in favorable settlement for client prior to jury deliberation.

Successfully defended a low bidder contractor in writ proceedings (bid protest) in Alameda County Superior Court arising from $25 million highway project.

Recovered a substantial settlement for the general contractor in connection with the Big League Dreams project in Chino Hills. The project included six claims arising out of the construction of replica major league stadiums, turnstile entrance, restaurants, bars, batting cages, corporate offices, indoor soccer arena, volleyball courts, skateboard park, and other features.

Defended a major construction lender against mechanic's lien priority claims and bonded stop notice claims arising from borrower-owners' failures to manage projects.

Attorneys &
Paralegals

Name Title City Phone  
Briseño, Monica R. Associate Los Angeles 310.284.2242
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Campbell, Robert G. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2259
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Hamidi, Ali P. Partner San Francisco 415.262.5106
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Kranz, Frederick H. Partner Orange County 949.260.4626
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Masters, Jeffrey D. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2239
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Mocciaro, Perry D. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2234
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Musitano, John R. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2212
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Potter, Trevor B. Associate Orange County 949.260.4624
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Purvis, James M. Associate San Francisco 415.263.5514
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Quigley, Edward F. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2271
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Stewart, Sandra C. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2250
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Sullivan, Mark B. Senior Paralegal Los Angeles 310.284.2296
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Vaz, Alicia N. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2273
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