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."

Friday, February 13, 2015

Decktech Has Contractors License Reinstated - Settles Another Claim Against It's Surety Bond

DeckTech's  surety bond claim issues are certainly costing the company money-the only way to get your license back from a surety bond claim that was paid by the bond holder is to reimburse them for all costs of the claim. Investigation costs and any claim amount paid MUST be repaid before the bond is reinstated. 

As of 2/12/15 CSLB says Decktech's license is active again after suspending it on 2/4/15 for a bond cancellation. 

If you are considering hiring Decktech, please note that they have several strikes against them-
they have an active complaint disclosure on the CSLB website with their license on the line for revocation or suspension because of a complaint by an owner who was allegedly harmed by DeckTech's alleged illegal business practices-taking to large of a deposit, failing to provide lien releases etc. 
Then there's their history of license suspensions- November 2013 for failing to have a workers compensation policy in effect, a scheduled bond cancellation in August 2014 for pending claims against the bond and the latest license suspension from February 4th 2015 to the 11th.  
Decktech Inc has had their license suspended twicew in 15 months, In November 2013 for lack of workers comp insurance and again in Feb 2015 after their surety bond was cancelled.
November 2013-Decktech's License Is Suspended for Lack of Workers Comp Insurance. 

August 2014 Decktech's bond was cancelled for outstanding claims against the surety bond. DeckTech kept their bond by paying the claims against their bond. 
Decktech's bond was cancelled and their license suspended when their surety bond was cancelled for a claim against the bond. The bond was reinstated after Decktech reimbursed their surety for any losses paid out.
February 4, 2015 Decktech's bond is cancelled by their surety carrier for a claim that resulted in a pay out. Decktech reinstated their bond by paying the surety company back for their losses. 
Decktech still faces serious charges brought by CSLB in regards to a case being currently investigated. They will either lose their license via a suspension or revocation because of the seriousness of the case and allegations. 

Unfortunately CSLB's website is not set up for consumers to see the whole history of a company before they make a decision on whom to hire. Looking at the website today you might assume DeckTech's license is squeeky clean, but after seeing the history here, know you know the truth and can make prudent business decisions. 

Got a DeckTech story for us? We'd love to hear it! 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

"Disgorge" - This One Sneaky Legal Trick Could Force DeckTech To Pay All Your Money Back!

Whenever I heard someone use the term "disgorge" in the past, I thought they were being polite about how they said they were throwing up...

Then recently I learned of another meaning for disgorge, this one referring to getting a contractor to pay you back all of the money you paid them based on some legal technicalities in the state of California.

From the law offices blog of William Porter comes this  "If a contractor is unlicensed at any point during its construction work on a project the general rule is that not only will the contractor be unable to sue for any sum it contends it is owed for work on that project, but it may also be required to actually disgorge all sums it received in relation to the entire project, including for work performed while the license was properly in place."

Contractor Lacking License at Any Time During Construction Project Can be Compelled to Refund All Payments Received DuringEntire Project; A Prejudgment Writ of Attachment May Secure Refund This post discusses the legal grounds for disgorgement and describes one case where the claimant received a judgement for $360,000 they paid to their contractor who became unlicensed while performing work. 

Disgorgement is the sneaky legal trick a smart attorney will use to seek to force DeckTech to repay all of the money a client paid if they have been unlicensed at any time during the course of construction. 

This is not legal advice and is not intended to be...always consult a legal professional for advice. 

As Porter warns contractors reading his paper- "The easy rule for contractors to follow is: Do not perform any work on a construction project without a valid California contractors’ license in place at all times. Failure to follow this simple rule may result in the denial of a right to sue, disgorgement of all sums received in relation to the entire project and a prejudgment writ of attachment on all the contractor’s assets."

Wow, could this little legal trick snuff Decktech out? Time could tell...

Deck Tech Still Working Despite License Suspension?

As reported previously, Decktech's license has been suspended by the CSLB for lack of a surety bond. Their prior bond company had cancelled their bond as of Feb 4th and a new bond has not yet replaced the old. As such, DeckTech by law is not supposed to be working, but I caught them at a job site in Pismo Beach. They also have a permit out on an active bond in Oceano but that job has been idle for the last several days strangely enough....
Decktech job in Oceano Ca. Working while a contractors license is suspended is fraught with risks.
Decktech jobsite in Oceano. 
I stopped by Huber street in Grover beach yesterday (2/10) and again today where Decktechs office is. As I pulled in yesterday, one truck with two men was already pulling out and a second one was in the driveway ready to go.
I stopped to wait for the next truck to leave and as I was Ron McKenna came around the corner in his truck. He began crying that I was spying on him...and I pulled out my video and caught this part of his tears before he drove off...watch the video via this dropbox link. https://www.dropbox.com/s/c7ou9o4vzapk147/2015-02-10%2016.10.50.mp4?dl=0

Ron got so flustered he came back out in another vehicle GMC SUV with someone (Saul?) driving. They pulled around the block and pulled in behind me and Ron was filming...he then pulled up next to me and with my camera rolling began yelling I was stalking him and he called the police...I have my own choice words as a reply, watch it here https://www.dropbox.com/s/du33rebozv6v1sv/2015-02-10%2016.51.10.mp4?dl=0

I followed a Decktech truck out that looked like it was going off to a job...instead it drove all the way down to Brisco Hardware where two workers went and bought one box of screws...then drove back to the shop. Bored, I drove around to check a couple job sites to see if I could find the other truck. 
Decktech truck with logo and suspended license number
 on it at a job site at Clydell Court in Pismo Beach.  

Today I went by the office and a truck went out but I lost it...I stopped and waited at one job site but no crew materialized so I went for a ride to a Coastal Community Builders jobsite in Pismo Beach. 
There I found a Decktech crew working...

Decktech employee in uniform with logo's visible at a jobsite on Clydell Court in Pismo Beach. 

Seemingly flouting the law, Decktech employees work on a job in Pismo Beach.
Decktech employees working on a deck at a single family home project
being built by Coastal Community Builders on Clydell Court. 
So here is Decktech seemingly defying the CSLB and continuing to work despite having a suspended license showing at the CSLB website. We've sent CSLB pictures and complaints...lets see what happens next. Stay tuned! 

Monday, February 9, 2015

CONSUMER ALERT-DeckTech's License is Suspended! They Can Not Work on Your Job Until They Have a New Bond

Suspended as of February 4th, 2015, without a license DeckTech may
 NOT legally work on your property until they have a new bond and the suspension is lifted. 
In a new development we just learned of, the General Contractors license held by DeckTech Inc of Grover Beach is under suspension by the Contractors State License Board as of February 4, 2015. This marks the second time in less than a year that their bond was about to be suspended or has been suspended. In August 2014, we reported their pending bond cancellation on a consumer warning alert. http://waterproofdeckcoatingadvice.blogspot.com/2014/08/bond-alert-for-clients-of-deck-tech-of.html

Decktech's license was also under threat of suspension in October 2014 for not having workers compensation insurance in place. That suspension threat was averted. 

On the publicly accessible listing at CSLB's website the information as of today, Feb 9, 2015 shows that the bonding company American Contractors Indemnity Co has cancelled their bond as of Feb 4th. According to a spokesperson we spoke to at American Contractors this morning, there is a claim against the bond which triggered the cancellation.  Given that this is their second claim in less than 12 months, it is likely, but not confirmed that the bond company simply decided to cut their losses and rid themselves of DeckTech and the multiple claims. 

A bonding company guarantees up to $12,500 in damages if a contractor is found to have been in violation of CSLB  or CA Business and Professions laws and a payment was made or about to be made on a claim.  DeckTech has to pay the bond company the amount of the damages paid, plus their costs to investigate the claim before they can get a new bond or reinstate their old bond. 

Consumers, contractors and anyone with a contract with DeckTech, the following may apply, you are advised to consult with a legal professional to determine your rights, however you should
  1. Do Not Allow any worker on your property! DeckTech's suspended license does not allow them to work until they have a bond. Remove any workers from your property immediately. Report any Decktech workers on your property to CSLB and/or Department of Industrial Relations. 
  2. From Feb 4th onward, any work DeckTech may have done does not have to be paid for. A contractor whose license is suspended cannot collect for any work they've done. Do not pay for any work performed after Feb 4th and report any work they have done after 2/4 to the CSLB immediately. Their workers are at extreme risk as typically workers comp insurance is not valid under a license suspension. An injured worker may bring a claim against YOU if they are injured on your property!
  3. They may not present a contract for over $500 materials and labor. Only a licensed contractor can provide a bid over $500. If you receive a bid over $500 dated on or after Feb 4th 2015, send a copy and file a complaint immediately with the CSLB.  
This suspension comes at a bad time as Decktech also still faces a lawsuit against them for damages they allegedly caused on a project in Morro Bay. Piggybacked on that case is a CSLB action in conjunction with the Attorney General's office to suspend or revoke DeckTech's license for numerous alleged violations of the California Business & Professions Codes. 

All in all, consumers would be well advised to steer clear of Decktech at this time until/if they can clear their name. 

I'd love to hear your story of working with Decktech, as well as inspect your contract. Numerous consumers appear to have been damaged by alleged violations including taking illegal deposits in excess of $1,000, the maximum initial deposit allowed by law, paying to much money for the work performed's value and other egregious violations. Contact us today! 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Did a DeckTech Client Predict the Future?

Some of DeckTech's most ardent critics all say that Scott Wilson, former operations manager of Decktech, was a good guy who seemed to be stuck between doing the right thing and having to answer to his boss, Ron McKenna. Below is an excerpt from an email from a client of Decktech  that supports that.

"In closing, in an email from you sometime ago, you stated that Scott Wilson was an honorable man. I want you to know, that both X and I have always felt that way. It is a very uncomfortable situation that he is currently in.  I suspect he has been put in this situation before. It will be just a matter of time before he realizes that he has had enough."

Well it seems that prediction came true...

Wilson left Decktech in the fall of 2014 to open an archery shop and range. In an article featuring Scotts new venture in the Tribune's Biz Buzz Extra insert this week, Wilson is quoted as saying "The last few years I had been working for a construction company, and I quickly realized that was not what I wanted to do."

Other clients have said similar things, they liked working with Scott and had no problems with him at all. Any problems in the job though seemed to be handled by owner Ron McKenna, and that's where opinions of Scott sharply veered to the extreme opposite; from email to or about McKenna by clients of Ron's-

"Your attitude and demeanor reminds me of a school yard bully."  

"With regards to the contractor  that provided and installed the Nevada Coatings product on the job in question, I can not speak more clearly about his lack of professionalism. This contractor becomes agitated and difficult when you disagree with him."

"I do have issues with the other contractor (Ron Mckenna) in question and his ethics and workmanship." 

What do you think readers? Did Scott Wilson have a "come to Jesus moment" and leave DeckTech because his ethics and morals wouldn't allow him to continue  in Decktech's work culture? 
Sound off in the comments!