Gray•Duffy obtains favorable settlement in construction delay claim against crane company.

January 2017

Overview

Michael Eisenbaum of Gray•Duffy’s Encino, CA office successfully resolved a $900,000 delay claim through a $75,000 settlement, of which the crane company paid a one-third share of $25,000.

Discussion

H & H Engineering Construction, Inc. v. Bob Hill Hydraulic Crane Rentals, LLC

Gray•Duffy’s client crane company was performing crane operations to move rails for a train track. The lifts were taking place under power lines. As the boom of the crane passed under the power lines, an arc of electricity occurred between the power line and the crane, severing the power line. This was part of a large public works project, and allegedly caused a shut-down of the job site for about three weeks while safety precautions were re-evaluated.

The General Contractor filed suit for construction delays, claiming in excess of $900,000 in delay damages. An investigation revealed that there were several prior incidents involving power structures, both above and below ground, involving other parties. It became evident that the crane incident was the seventh such incident in a two year period of time at the project, and was the final straw. Therefore, the delay at the project was only partially related to the crane incident. In addition, the alleged delay damages were highly over stated.

After over two years of litigation, the General Contractor finally acknowledged that their losses were nowhere near what was claimed, and agreed to a settlement of $75,000, split equally among the three parties involved in this and a prior incident. A fourth party, who was involved in a different prior incident, agreed to withdraw its $210,000 claim for equipment costs that were idle at the job site following the last incident, which helped enable the settlement.

Please Note: This article is necessarily general in nature and is not a substitute for legal advice with respect to any particular case. Readers should consult with an attorney before taking any action affecting their interests.