Sued Pacific Park subcontractors agree to settle

About three years after the city sued a contractor who got about $21 million to build a library, gym and other buildings at Pacific Park, the case has started to thaw in the court system after several subcontractors agreed to settle.

Five out of dozens of subcontractors involved in what the city and Glendale Unified School District claim was shoddy construction have agreed to settle for $105,000.

The payment is just a drop in the bucket compared to the nearly $6.4 million the city wants as compensation for a blistered and buckling gym floor, leaks at the library and other construction-related issues at the Pacific Park site built by Fedcon General Contractors nearly a decade ago, according to court records.

Subcontractors hired to install skylights, decking, drywall, electrical equipment and roof shingles all settled with the city, officials announced last week. The trial for the remaining defendants is scheduled for April in Los Angeles County Superior Court, said Ann Mauer, a senior assistant city attorney.

The construction issues did not affect the classroom building, said Eva Lueck, chief business and financial officer for Glendale Unified School District, adding that the city filed the case on its own since most of the problems were on city-owned property.

Shortly after Fedcon completed construction of the Pacific Park site, which includes Thomas Edison Elementary School, officials noticed the gym floor blistering along the edges, according to court records.

There were also problems with roof drainage systems, leaking windows and improperly waterproofed walls at other buildings, even after Fedcon performed repairs, according to the lawsuit.

The city, which took the lead in the lawsuit, claims that the gym, library and administrative offices “were defectively designed and/or constructed.”

“We want repair costs,” Mauer said.

Despite the construction issues, the buildings have been used for years, but the defects led to loss of use, premature deterioration and microbial contamination, according to court records.

Fedcon attorneys did not respond to repeated requests for comment, but in its response filed in court, the company has denied the allegations.

However, Fedcon’s attorneys wrote, if Fedcon is held liable, other subcontractors that worked on the site should be, too. Fedcon dragged dozens of subcontractors into the case in 2009, about two years after the city first filed the lawsuit — stalling the process, Mauer said.

Bill Diesel, chief executive of Budget Electrical Contractors, one of the five subcontractors to have recently settled, said the company paid the $25,000 settlement only because its insurance company didn’t want to deal with a costly trial.

“We didn’t do one thing wrong,” Diesel said.

McKinney Wall Systems, Delta Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Inc. and Carmel Architectural Sales have also agreed to $25,000 settlements, according to city records. Alexander Buggy Corp. agreed to pay $5,000.

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