Why Don't We Get Sued? Because...

Why aren't we being sued? Because...from Krubinski vs Schmutzer-"truth is a complete defense against liability for defamation, regardless of bad faith or malicious purpose."

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What Liability Does a CID Management Company Have When They "Endorse" a Vendor's Services & Expertise?

A Licensed Contractor Has a Complaint Disclosure Listed on Their License-Should They Be Dropped Off The "Preferred Vendors List" Maintained by a Management Company?

Many CID management companies perform basic background checks of vendors who wish to provide services to CID's. A background check may include verifying a contractors license (checking that complaints don't exist), being named as an additional insured on liability policies, verifying workers compensation is in place if the vendor has employees etc.

What happens though when a management company posts a vendors name on it's website and says it "endorses their services and expertise"? In my opinion, they step into a mine field.

It's one thing to verify a vendors credentials, but it's quite another to endorse a vendor. For one, if something goes wrong with that vendor, the client will remember that you told him to use them. Secondly, your firms integrity is on the line. Third, the management company will now have to monitor the vendors reputation, if it sinks for whatever reason, clients will think that you should know that. If you don't and there is a hit on a vendors reputation, they will wonder why you didn't know that and pull that vendor from your list of endorsed vendors.

A recent case in point-The Management Trust-Goetz-Manderley maintains a list of "trusted partners" who in TMT's own words "endorses their services and expertise". Endorse meaning "declare one's public approval or support of."

One of their endorsed vendors is a general contractor/waterproofing company called DeckTech, Inc.
The Management Trust's "trusted vendors" list has one contractor with a complaint against their license.
Risky business when "endorsing" a company?
Decktech Inc has a complaint disclosure on their license listing with the CSLB that alleges serious license violations of the Business & Professional Codes governing businesses. While their license is currently active, the disclaimer reads-
DISCLAIMER: Any complaint listed is only an allegation of a probable violation. A complaint does not affect the status of the license at this time. If a complaint is referred to the Office of the Attorney General for legal action, it may result in the suspension or revocation of the license. Pursuant to 7124.6 of the Business and Professions Code, the following complaints meet the criteria for disclosure.

and then following the disclaimer, the complaints against Decktech Inc are listed.

In the words of The Management Trust "TMT only admits the very best vendors as Trusted Partners, vendors who value workmanship and professionalism above their bottom line".  What liability or exposure to risk does a management company have when a "trusted partner", has a complaint disclosure on their license and they leave them on their trusted partners listings?

CSLB only lists accusations such as this when certain criteria has been met, that being-
7124.6.  (a) The registrar shall make available to members of the
public the date, nature, and status of all complaints on file against
a licensee that do either of the following:
   (1) Have been referred for accusation.
   (2) Have been referred for investigation after a determination by
board enforcement staff that a probable violation has occurred, and
have been reviewed by a supervisor, and regard allegations that if
proven would present a risk of harm to the public and would be
appropriate for suspension or revocation of the contractor's license
or criminal prosecution.

Unless The Management Trust, in our opinion, removes Decktech Inc from their list of "trusted vendors" they open themselves to criticism, accusations of self-dealing and if something went wrong on a job being done by DeckTech, Inc, possibly being named in a suit as a cross defendant. 
If Decktech can clear their name and no complaints are listed, then certainly it would be of to reinstate them on the list, but as we see it, the stakes are too high to risk your reputation based on another firms diminished standing. 
What are your thoughts? Tell us in the comments. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

DeckTech's Attorney's Failure To File Cross-Complaint With Answer to Lawsuit Leaves Them Scrambling to Beg Forgiveness

Either "Oversight, inadvertance, neglect, mistake or other cause" triggers need for filing of 
"Motion for Leave to File Cross Complaint"

Notably absent, but I wouldn't rule it out, "incompetence" could be another word for "other cause" in the case of a recent filing by DeckTech's attorneys in the Smith vs DeckTech Inc case currently pending in SLO Superior Court.  

 If you are being sued and you are blaming someone else for the events that led to your being sued, you will want to cross file and sue the guy who done it so to speak. 

Decktech Inc Grover Beach waterproofing contractor
Decktech Inc's attorneys have filed a 62 page pleading to cross file against others
in the suit against DeckTech. 
Court rules require filing cross-complaints to be filed with answers to a plaintiff's complaint at the same time. That wasn't done at the time DeckTech's attorneys, Von Ryan Reyes & Felicia Jafferies, of Ericksen Arbuthnot of San Jose filed their clients answer with the Court. This appears to be a big screw up, as they did try to file their cross-complaint the day after filing their answer, but Court rules require they be filed at the same time. A third year law clerk would probably think to check the filing requirements...don't know what happened here or what the thought process was, wouldn't you just file all your documents at once? 

Shouldn't the attorneys know the Court's rules at a minimum? Now they have to beg the Judge to allow this cross complaint in so they can sue DeckTech's subs (Roes 1-10) and anyone else they feel was responsible or caused a problem. Part of their original reply to the complaint was alteration of their product and misuse so it's likely they may try to sue others as well. 

As to suing "others" who performed work or altered products etc., the result might be more than what the defendant bargained for or envisioned when the thought rolled through their little head. Discovery has an evil way working both ways and leading to questions being asked a witness/defendant that some other person doesn't want asked and that leads to people who don't want to be depositioned being served to give a deposition and provide paperwork...and of course that all becomes part of open court records. Could prove to be very embarrassing and disastrous. 

Then of course you have to aksk-How much does Decktech's attorney bill an hour? I'd hate to get a bill for this work in rectifying what could and should have been done one day later...In fact, I'd tell my lawyer to pay for that work out of his pocket, wouldn't you? 

So the attorneys filed a request to come grovel before the Judge and 'splain why they should be allowed to get their cross complaint in...which basically boils down to we wanna sue the subs and get money from them. There's probably some responsibility from the subs, but the only one I really see having a problem is the tile installer. 

Here are the links to download and view the most recent pleadings 
Here DeckTech's lawyers are seeking to blame others for DeckTech's work they subbed out. The tile installer has the biggest problem from what we see. He installed it wrong and laid it out improperly. 

Here Attorney Reyes basically admits in legalese to making some mistake, oversight or inadvertance when it came to filing the cross complaint on a timely basis...

Here Attorney Reyes makes his argument for being allowed to file a cross complaint. One result if it's denied is DeckTech would be paying the whole bill if found against in the suit. The companies "Private Capital Investors" probably wouldn't like that much. 

DeckTech also faces legal trouble with the State of California Attorney General's office where CSLB has referred them to be charged with multiple Business Code violations. We are following up on that side as well. 

We are waiting and checking to see if new documents in the case are filed on a weekly basis-check back for further updates. 

Leave us a comment if you'd like. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

DeckTech Responds to Civil Suit-Is Their Defense Weak or Their Reply Deliberately Vague? You Decide...

DeckTech Inc Retains Big City Attorneys Ericksen Arbuthnot From San Jose
License Revocation or Suspension & Lots of Money at Stake

Filed on November 6th, the answer filed in San Luis Obispo Superior Court  by DeckTech Inc of Grover Beach is 8 pages of convoluted vagueness alternating with laying blame on everyone else involved. 

Deck Tech's answer to a civil suit filed in San Luis Obispo Superior Court
The answer from Decktech's big city attorneys is only 7 pages long.
Deliberately short or not much to defend? 
DeckTech Inc of Grover Beach has retained a firm located in San Jose CA to defend it in a civil suit brought against them last month. Van Ryan Reyes and Felecia Jafferies of ERICKSEN ARBUTHNOT's San Jose division are defending DeckTech against a number of complaints brought by a Moro Bay litigant.


Decktech's responses are all over the map, ranging from denying everything to blaming the plaintiff and accusing him oh of having "unclean hands" to throwing his subs under the bus and blaming them for everything. While subs may have a responsibility that can be funds can be recovered from, DeckTech as General contractor generally bears the responsibility to oversee the job and ensure that it's been done properly.

Of course it's DeckTech's attorneys job to make every excuse in the book and see what shit sticks to the wall...speaking of wall, we'd love to have been a fly on when Ron McKenna sat with his legal team as they laid out the costs...just to see his eyes bug out on the hourly rates of a high powered firm. But (I know, don't start a sentence with but) Ron McKenna has a LOT TO LOSE...his license, a lot of money, the company, his reputation or what's left of it after the suit winds its way through court...

DeckTech's defense appears more to blame the victim than anything else. They deny that taking a deposit was in violation of the civil code...seems a downright laughable defense in light of the plain language of the code and the language in the contract of DeckTech's.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE COMPLAINT  Read the DeckTech contract and you decide....

So tell us what you think readers, does DeckTech Inc really have a leg to stand on? Do they think paying a high priced firm will get them the defense they need to beat such charges? Don't forget readers that the attorney general's ofice has been referred to take legal action against them to by CSLB, an action that could result in the suspension or revocation of DeckTech's license.

Now readers, the next question to ask yourself, especially if you are considering hiring DeckTech, is, do I want to help pay for their defense of what looks like egregious violations, or do I want to pay a contractor who doesn't have such serious charges against them? Only you can answer that but I know my answer....

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Read the Suit Against DeckTech Inc Here

The suit filed against DeckTech Inc has been served on September 23rd and the full document is now available here at this link

Decktech lawsuit
Read the whole suit at the link above. 

You can open and read it or download a copy for yourself free.

No reply to the suit has been filed yet, check back on a later date, probably after October 23rd is when a response will be made.

CSLB has also separately referred this complaint to the Attorney General's office for prosecution of DeckTech's license to be suspended or revoked.
7124.6. (a) The registrar shall make available to members of the
public the date, nature, and status of all complaints on file against
a licensee that do either of the following:
(1) Have been referred for accusation.
(2) Have been referred for investigation after a determination by
board enforcement staff that a probable violation has occurred, and
have been reviewed by a supervisor, and regard allegations that if
proven would present a risk of harm to the public and would be
appropriate for suspension or revocation of the contractor's license
or criminal prosecution.

We got some pictures of the job, tell us what you think...

DeckTech job lawsuit Morro Bay
Large gap, tile high on one side, poor detailing.

Poor job covering back of tile

Not enough mud to bond tile.

Demo'd area 

Thin membrane appears to be less than the minimum required by the
manufacturer's own written specifications. 

A second place demo'd reveals the same issue, not enough coating applied. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Advisory Issued On Deck Tech Inc- Workers Compensation Insurance

Clients of DeckTech Inc of Grover Beach are cautioned to be alert and insist on being provided with a valid copy of an workers compensation policy before signing a contract or allowing workers of DeckTech's on their property.

According to the CSLB website, Decktech's license will be suspended on November 5, 2014 if CSLB does not receive a new policy.

In cases where no workers comp policy exists, and a worker i injured, CSLB and the Courts may look to you and decide you are the employer and make you responsible for costs associated with an injury. We advise to consult with an attorney or your insurance agent to ensure you are covered and protected.

Here is a screen shot of DeckTech's license status at CSLB's website. You should also be aware that DeckTech has serious allegations of fraud and deceit brought by the CSLB stemming from a construction complaint. Be sure to review the Complaint Disclosure Information

DeckTech's license status is in jeopardy of suspension for not having a workers comp policy.
Workers Comp policy expired 10 4 14

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

CSLB Refers DeckTech Inc of Grover Beach to California's Attorney General's Office

A construction case involving local deck waterproofing and general contractor Ron McKenna of Decktech Inc was recently referred to the state Attorney General's office by the Contractors State License Board. Case # N 2014 235 was listed on the CSLB listing for Decktech  on October 6th. The referral stems from a construction defect complaint filed by a homeowner in Morro Bay who hired DeckTech to replace a failed tile deck for $60,000 +. Decktech took a deposit far in excess than allowed by state law, which is limited to 10% or $1,000, whichever is less. DeckTech took a deposit of approximately $15,000, far above the $1,000 threshold.

Other complaints in the referral to the A.G. are for over payment of money for work not done, job abandonment, willful departure from accepted trade standards, failure to provide lien releases from sub-contractors and failure to provide mandatory language in the construction contract.  The result of the referral if DeckTech is found guilty is either suspension of the license for a set period of time, or revocation.

This case that will be prosecuted by the AG's office is in addition to a suit brought by the homeowner that was filed last month in Superior Court. The homeowner/plaintiff paid DeckTech a deposit of $15,000.00 when a deposit of a maximum of $1,000 can be taken in advance. Other charges may be added before the matter goes to court.

If you feel you have been taken advantage of by Decktech, we advise you contact the CSLB and consider filing your own complaint. You may be able to recover funds and you will help bolster the current case for a revocation instead of just a suspension. 

Feel free to contact us with your own personal story! Here below are screen shots of the DeckTech license listing at CSLB's website.

Decktech's license listing at CSLB's website.
Decktech's listing at CSLB as of 10 13 14

List of charges against Decktech are serious indeed
List of charges referred to AG's office are serious indeed. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Shell Beach Tile Deck Failure

We looked at a job done by DeckTech in Shell Beach CA. Similar story to the others, only a year or two old and already major issues on this high end home. Owner reports they filed a complaint with CSLB.

 Gray area is a "repair" DeckTech made to the previously applied and failing
Granite Deck Under Tile Membrane. They used plain old urethane and tried tying 
into the polyurea materials. What a joke...
 Yellowish material is Granite Deck material and you can see it peeling back. 
 Here is a close up of the peeling material
 Water intruded at the door area and you can see the result-RUSTED flashing
 I can pop the crap right of with a fingernail under an edge. 
 Large numbers of splits in the Granite Deck membrane are clearly marked. 
Tile over Deck Tech's membrane popped off with very little effort. 
Almost all of the grout came off too, stuck to the tile.  

Decktech's Granite Deck Failures at Pismo Beach Medical Center

Just a few years old, the building owned by Coastal Community Builders at 2 James Way in Pismo Beach has walkways and a lobby coated with Decktech's Granite Deck system...and it's already had major repairs done!

DeckTech appears to have made some  repairs to the job, but they don't match and the repairs look terrible! As this is a medical building, we'd call this terminal!

Check out the pics we took a couple weeks ago of the repaired areas. DeckTech says their stuff will last years or "even decades", but we're betting it lasts less than that judging from it's performance so far. Is this an example of what you can expect from Granite Deck and Decktech's work? Maybe you better think about using other products and companies?

Go check it out for yourself if you are in the area.

 Seam showing signs of failure. 
 I don't even wanna know what this is called as a repair
 Lobby area on second floor with large area of repairs
 Lousy match

DeckTech's "Granite Deck" - The Truth About Their NCS/Nevada Coating System

DeckTech likes to brag about the NCS Granite Deck System, short for Nevada Coatings System ( http://www.nevadacoatings.com/), talking about it's elongation properties and how they are only one of a few applicators in the state of CA approved to install this material.

Well they are only one of a few applicators, the other applicator being the company owned by the owner of Nevada Coatings System, David Krubinski aka David Mazor. Mazor secretly owns WICR Inc (see wicrleaks.com). No one else wants to put this crap on your deck.

Most applicators of decking products install ICC-ES tested and evaluated systems such as Mer-Kote, Desert Brand, Life Deck, Westcoat, Pli-Dek, Excellent Coatings Duradek etc. This link tales you to ICC' website where bonafide decking systems are listed http://www.icc-es.org/Reports/index.cfm?csi_id=301&view_details You'll note that Nevada Coatings System is not listed here, for good reason...
 Sample of Granite Deck by Decktech.
Bucket of Carboline as found on a jobsite. 

The Nevada Coatings System Granite Deck material is actually manufactured by Carboline under Reactamine. It is a two part polyurea designed for steel and concrete, not plywood. The Carboline people say it could go on wood, but they don't have a specification for that. IT IS not tested or evaluated as a decking product, it is not listed as a Class A roof coating, it does not have any UL or ICC-ES evaluations for use as a decking product.

Polyurea is used in lining tanks, pipes, even in a different variant for truck beds. It can be very tough, when applied in a minimum thickness of 1/8"+ or more. When applied like what we find on Decktech jobs, it's usually failing. It is UV resistant but yellows when exposed to sun. That's why Decktech wants to reseal your deck every year, so it won't yellow.

The product will also burn when exposed to open flame. Toxic fumes are emitted when it burns, requiring firefighters to wear self contained breathing apparatus.

Supporting open flame with no combustible materials. 

With so many better and bonafide decking systems to choose from, we recommend that you pass on Granite Deck from Decktech.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Suit Filed Against DeckTech in San Luis Obispo Superior Court

A suit, #14VC 0467, was filed in Superior Court in San Luis Obispo on September 8th that alleges that DeckTech Inc of Grover Beach made numerous violations under the California Business & Professions Codes, along with Breach of Contract, Construction Defects, Negligent Misrepresentations and Deceit Damages on a large project in Morro Bay. The 35 page complaint claims numerous problems with the work.

No dollar amount was claimed in the initial filing, however part of the claim by the plaintiff hints that they will be seeking a large sum when it stated that DeckTech's owner Ron McKenna's "outrageous and despicable conduct subjected the Plaintiff to a cruel and unjust hardship in conscious disregard of the Plaintiff's rights, so as to justify an award of exemplary and punitive damages."

As the suit has just been filed and no answer from the defendant has been made, this just represents one side of the claim. The first hearing has been set for January. Once the reply from DeckTech has been filed, we will provide copies of that in another story.

Among the many claims by the plaintiff, some of which appear to be corroborated with copies of the contract are that Decktech violated the law by taking an initial deposit above the maximum $1,000.00 or !0%, allowable, whichever is LESS, failed to install the waterproofing membrane for a tile covered deck to the proper thickness, failed to install, grout and layout the tiles properly, failure to slope the deck properly to drain and also caused damages to the Plaintiff's home that wasn't repaired.

The suit also claims that Ron McKenna of Decktech made false and misleading statements to induce the Plaintiff to buy from Decktech.

More to come as we receive information.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Via Bandolera Deck Done By Decktech Fails in 3 Years Time

A deck on Via Bandolera failed within 3 years of being "fixed" by DeckTech. With the additional water intrusion damage from the failures, the deck had to be completely replaced at a cost of over $15,000. The Granite deck system was poorly installed and led to water intrusion

 Cracked coating at corner allowed water to intrude.
 Poorly applied Nevada Coating System Granite Deck at weep screed

 Granite deck peels off deck easily

 Water damaged plywood underneath Granite Deck system

Peeling off at the edges

Decktech's Ron McKenna Threatening Email Advises a Client "To Dig Deep and Move on"

A client of Decktech's has issues with his job and hasn't paid the final balance...Ron McKenna sends an email that is downright scary and threatening.

His "Company Private Capital Investors" told him to collect their money they loaned him...Ron can't protect the client from them if he doesn't pay up...

Does this look like a person/company you want to do business with?
The owner called the police and filed a complaint. We would too. What kind of a douchebag is Ron McKenna to email threats like these?

From: Ron McKenna
Date: 11/27/2013 12:37:42 PM
Subject: RE: Railing Install

As usual your comments are laden with miss information and have no merit. To even respond to them would be beneath me. I will notify all trades involved with project to move forward with liens, unless the following request is accommodated.

I tried calling you several times yesterday afternoon based off request of individuals I must answer too. (Company Private Capital Investors) My instructions were to resolve. Based off approved contract and your email electing to install rail and glass there is $9k owed. You will have until Dec. 1st to pay the 9K and close this issue out. Once payment is received I will have controller provide unconditional lien releases and were done.  If payment is not provided by then, I will confirm with trades to file liens. In addition I will not be able to protect you from Private Capital Investors, and Frank these individuals will take this to an arena, I can certainly guarantee you have never visited and don’t think for a minute it will be worth 9k savings you cheated them on.

I suggest you dig deep on this, resolve and move on.

Now the DeckTech client fires back, having consulted his attorney...they have major concerns about the quality of their job. From the thickness of the waterproofing material  to the lack of quality on their tile installation... 

Cayucos Home With Failed Granite Deck on Roof and Decks

A private home under construction in Cayucos experienced Granite Deck failures before the house was even completed.

 White sealant temporarily seals split Granite Deck materials. 
 Every seam of plywood has split the coating as seen where white lines exist. 
 Granite Deck peeled of copper flashings and going to the garbage where it belongs. 
 Sun comes right through poorly applied membrane, all pinholed.
Granite Deck failing off copper flashings

Orcutt Bluffs HOA Pool Deck Failure

Decktech applied Granite Deck to a concrete pool deck at Orcutt Bluffs HOA several years ago. . Within a short time the coating they applied to the pool deck began experiencing failures.
Minimum thickness of the coating is 1/8" thick according to the "manufacturer" of the materials...we found far less and the crap pulled right off in big sheets, like picking a scab.

 Peeling failing Granite Deck comes off concrete deck
 Material applied so thinly you can see it's pinholed-water travels right through and gets 
under coating, causing it to fail. 
 More failures
 Control joints should be filled with caulk-note peeling material.
Cracks not fixed show right through coating
Video show material peeling off easily. 

We went by the job a few weeks ago (December 2014) and saw that the pool deck has been stripped clean of the failing material from DeckTech and the deck is now a concrete broom finish that appears to be doing great.

Decktech Job Failure- Spyglass Condo's Pismo Beach

A Granite Deck system installed by DeckTech on condo's in Shell Beach on Spyglass Dr is experiencing failures on the carport garage. Photo's taken April 2013. As of late 2014, this material was gone, replaced with a conventional proven roofing system.

 Closeup of Granite Deck system failing. Decktech blames the association for not resealing every year for the failure. What crappy coating do they use that can't last a couple years exposed to sun and rain? 
 The whole roof is in a state of failure. 
Another closeup of a failing system

Rust is showing through at the edges of the deck from water intrusion
Decktech's picture from their old website. The new website doesn't show this job.