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BWB&O’s Los Angeles Office Obtains Major Victory in Arbitration!

Bremer Whyte Brown & O’Meara Partner Patrick Au and Senior Associate Theresa Mallen recently achieved a major victory in binding Arbitration.

The subject action involved a construction project in the backyard of homeowner’s residence. Homeowner maintained that BWB&O’s contractor client abandoned the project. Furthermore, homeowner alleged that the work performed by BWB&O’s client was deficient. The primary construction defect claim is that the pool deck is not properly sloped which is preventing surface water from running off the top of the retaining wall as designed.

The Arbitrator ultimately sided with BWB&O’s client finding that BWB&O’s client did not abandon the project, but rather was terminated by homeowner. Additionally, BWB&O successfully proved that despite the fact that the three pertinent elevations that determine the slope of the concrete pool slab were pre-established before BWB&O’s client even got on the project, that BWB&O’s client properly installed the concrete pool slab and would have established the necessary slope of the pool deck had it not been terminated from the project. Homeowner asserted many other secondary construction defect claims and the Arbitrator found in BWB&O’s client’s favor on each and every issue.

Homeowner sought a total of $195,987 in repair costs and restitution. Homeowner also sought an award of attorneys’ fees (with no basis) and punitive damages claiming elder abuse in violation of Welfare & Institutions Code Section 15610.30.  Although homeowner is over 65 years old, BWB&O countered by establishing that homeowner has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Mathematics and a master’s degree and PhD in Engineering. BWB&O also showed that homeowner was intricately involved in all aspects of the project on a daily basis and directly contracted with numerous trades for the project. Accordingly, the Arbitrator did not find a violation of Welfare & Institutions Code Section 15610.30. In conclusion, after multiple days of testimony and subsequent extensive briefing, the Arbitrator found for BWB&O’s client on every single issue and awarded $0 to homeowner on his Arbitration claim.