Los Angeles Hyperion WWTP | Scotts Valley School District
EBMUD Administration Building


At Consolidated CM (CCM), we are construction experts and frequently provide support to our clients in construction-related dispute resolution or formal legal proceedings. We are experienced and knowledgeable, and can provide schedule, as-built services, claims analysis, exhibit preparation, or expert witness services for mediation, arbitration, or formal courtroom testimony. CCM’s staff includes architects, engineers, and licensed contractors. We are familiar with the various construction contracting methodologies and the typical areas where pitfalls frequently occur on a project.

We also understand the design process. CCM recognizes the best claims defense is claims avoidance, so we suggest one of our most cost-effective services, constructability review. Constructability review is a formal process of contract document review ideally performed at the 95% design stage. CCM assembles a team of construction experts in the disciplines needed to fully review the plans and specifications. Then, both independently and as a team, the reviewers examine the documents for errors, omissions, ambiguities, obsolete procedures or materials, and implied sequences of work. We also look over the bid forms and general conditions to ensure they are clear, appropriate, and provide the owner with the contractual tools to manage the project once construction starts. Constructability review pays for itself many times over in direct savings to the owner, and in reducing the potential for construction disputes.

Los Angeles Hyperion Wastewater Treatment Plant Claim

The general contractor and primary subcontractors for this $72 million project filed a $6.8 million claim for time and impact costs in early 2000, which was unsuccessfully negotiated and mediated over a three-year period. In late 2002, they filed a revised formal government claim and lawsuit for $13.6 million. CCM was engaged at this time as a member of the expert witness team for the City Attorney' s Office to prepare an expert witness report on the merit of the electrical and mechanical components of the claim, including the quantum costs. CCM performed the document review, which included more than 1.1 million records over a period of 12 months, and participated in depositions, discovery, and preparation of technical drafts for legal counsel motion responses. The trial judge directed non-binding arbitration, by which time the claim value, revised several times, was finalized at $27.2 million. CCM submitted a final expert witness report and presented at the arbitration, which yielded a determination of $3.1 million entitlement for the contractor. The contractor rejected the determination, and the case proceeded toward trial. Immediately before the commencement of open trial, the City Attorney settled the case for a reported $7 to 8 million.
Scotts Valley High School District Claim

Legal counsel for the District's construction manager selected CCM to provide claims analysis and expert witness support in this large, contentious, and complex multi-party construction litigation. Problems with the $45 million Scotts Valley High School project began during pre-construction with the loss of the donated project site and multiplied as the project progressed. There were changed site conditions – endangered plants, dinosaur remains and nesting endangered birds; severe weather – 180 inches of rain the first winter; and problems with bidding, labor, material procurement, design, and workmanship. The project was eventually completed late, over budget, and with major defects, and litigation ensued. CCM's specific task was to assist in the defense of the project construction manager. Due in part to our efforts, the construction manager was ultimately dismissed from the lawsuit.
East Bay Municipal Utility District – Administration Building Claim

CCM assisted the District in defense of a $3 million construction claim associated with their main administrative building in downtown Oakland. The original contractor had gone bankrupt following the project and had settled all issues with the District except those of the drywall subcontractor, who continued to press a claim several years after the project was completed. The claim analysis was particularly difficult because the District's construction manager had not kept daily reports of activity on the site, and much of the claim was based on site activity and scheduling conflicts. CCM reviewed the remaining project records, which were stored in banker boxes, and constructed a day-by-day, floor-by-floor detailed record of site activities, using superintendent reports, meeting minutes, letters, and inspector diaries. This information was then converted into an as-built schedule and used to analyze the subcontractor's claim. Following CCM's testimony of findings, the claim was settled in mediation for three cents on the dollar.