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Back Local News Local firm sues CA contractor over NavFac project

Local firm sues CA contractor over NavFac project

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A LOCAL general contractor doing business as Dirt Doktor is seeking $1 million in damages from Pacific West Builders Inc. of Simi Valley, Calif. over an alleged breach of contract on a Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas project on Andersen Air Force Base.

The Camacho Family Partnership, which does business as Dirt Doktor, filed the complaint against Patricia I. Romero Inc. and asked for a jury trial before the U.S. District Court of Guam.

According to the complaint filed by Dirt Doktor lawyer Thomas Tarpley Jr., the plaintiff’s firm became a subcontractor to Pacific West’s prime contract to build the Red Horse Cantonment Operation Facility on Andersen on Dec. 10, 2012.

Under the contract, Pacific West was responsible for the design and construction of the project.

One of the plaintiff’s responsibilities under its subcontract was to procure and place four concrete slabs on grade for the building. Dirt Doktor submitted to Pacific West a concrete design mix prepared by Hawaiian Rock Products which met Pacific West’s design specifications of 3,000 pounds per square inch.

Dirt Doctor complained that Pacific West wrongfully rejected the design mix and insisted upon a mix of 6,000-pounds-per-square-inch strength concrete not previously specified in the subcontract. The mix, according to the plaintiff is generally unsuitable for Guam work because it hardens or “sets up” too quickly in Guam’s climate, making it more difficult to work with.

Dirt Doctor said that when its workers were pouring the concrete slabs it was the defendant’s quality control manager and supervisor directing and managing the work. The defendant directed plaintiff’s engineer on how to slope the slabs to a drainage basin, directed where the slopes would start and end, and installed a metal block on the drain area.

The plaintiff said that during each of the pours, the Pacific West supervisors were present, directing Dirk Doktor’s concrete work to the quality Pacific West wanted and the subcontractor was instructed to follow their directions in the finishes.

Redo

After the pour was completed and the building was constructed, NavFac’s contracting officer eventually ordered Pacific West, who in turn ordered Dirt Doktor to tear out the slabs and redo them, “because of how PWB directed plaintiff to do the work and the fast drying cement had cosmetic blemishes.”

The reasonable value for having to tear out the concrete slabs and redo them is $221,753.65 including a 7.5 percent markup for overhead and 7.5 percent profit.

Having to tear out and redo the slabs also delayed the rest of the project for which plaintiff is entitled to a time extension under its subcontract, according to the complaint.

The plaintiff also said that defendant is wrongfully withholding $777,550.36 from Dirt Doktor on approved work performed by Dirt Doktor.

The plaintiff added that Pacific West wrongfully claimed to plaintiff’s bonding company that the delays in the project were caused by plaintiff and not Pacific West.

Despite its demands, Dirt Doktor said Pacific West continues to refuse to pay for work performed by Dirt Doktor and accepted by NavFac. As a result, the plaintiff gave written notice of such nonpayment to the defendant’s Millers Act surety, the Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. In retaliation, Pacific West issued a notice to Dirt Doktor on Dec. 20, 2013 demanding plaintiff finish certain work by Dec. 27, 2013 or else plaintiff would be terminated.

The plaintiff said it is impossible for them to comply because Dirt Doktor was denied access to AAFB to continue the project and it would have been impossible to complete said work in 48 hours due to interference and delays caused by Pacific West.

Pacific West wrongfully terminated Dirt Doktor’s subcontract on Dec. 30, 2013, according to the plaintiff.

Dirt Doktor said that if the company is not paid in full within 90 days from the date it last furnished labor and material to the project, the plaintiff will file a Miller Act lawsuit against Pacific West’s surety.

As for the federal civil case, Dirt Doktor is asking for an award of $777,550.36 for its unpaid work performed and an additional award of $221,753.65 as a reasonable value of having to do the additional work of demolishing and redoing the concrete slabs as ordered by Pacific West.

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