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, September 16, 2015

No Settlement Yet in Smith vs DeckTech

The lawyers gathered around as did the plaintiff and the defendant, Ron McKenna of Decktech.

Over several days last Wednesday and Thursday, a mediation took place but according to documents filed, the case continues on without a settlement. DeckTech is being accused of installing a waterproofing and tile system so poorly that it doesn't meet generally accepted good workmanship principles, abandoning the job and other various accusations.

Ron McKenna arrives at his mediation last week in this file pic. 
A case management conference is scheduled in early December and a new date for mediation will be scheduled in the near future. In the meantime, CSLB continues it's case against DeckTech, seeking to either suspend or revoke DeckTech's license for violations of the Business and Professions codes regulating contractors. 

According to a spokesperson at CSLB, an accusation against DeckTech is moving ahead to be filed shortly with the California Attorney General's office. Accusations are typically reserved for the worst violators of CSLB/Business & Professions laws.

In the meantime, CSLB seeks other possible victims, urging them to come forward if they believe they were victimized by DeckTech. Possible violations CSLB is seeking evidence of includes taking deposits in excess of 10% or $1,000 whichever is less, failing to be provided with lien releases, taking payment on work not performed yet and other potential violations. Consumers who may have been victimized are urged to call or write the CSLB.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

CSLB Reports That Accusation is About to Be Filed Against Decktech

Accusations of violations of the Business & Professions Codes by Ron McKenna,
owner of Decktech Inc are about to be filed by the CSLB.
In this photo, McKenna is seen arriving at an arbitration regarding the same matter.  

Is Ron McKenna's and Decktech's clock running out? Will their license be suspended or revoked? Only time will tell, but that time is coming soon. Watch for CSLB's disclosures on Decktech's license listing at https://www2.cslb.ca.gov/OnlineServices/CheckLicenseII/LicenseDetail.aspx?LicNum=796956

Decktech has been alleged to have construction defects on a current job in Morro Bay CA. The owner of that project has brought civil suit against DeckTech. This matter is currently in arbitration. However, the CSLB is pursuing McKenna on their own, alleging multiple violations of B&P codes.

At this time, consumers should decide for themselves whether to contract with a firm that may not be around to back up any warranties or work they perform.

A spokesperson for the case management office of CSLB says DeckTech's case referral to the Attorney General's office is about to be filed as an accusation.

According to Cal Construction Law Blog-
The most serious violations are subject to the filing of an accusation. In an accusation, the CSLB seeks to suspend or revoke a contractor’s license, and begins with the CSLB filing an accusation which is similar to a complaint filed in superior court and includes an allegation of claims. A contractor has 15 days from service of an accusation by the CSLB to file a notice of defense.The Administrative Procedures Act (Government Code sections 11500 et seq.) govern accusations, including limited discovery of names and addresses of witnesses, statements taken, investigative reports, and documents sought to be admitted as evidence. A mandatory settlement conference before the hearing may be conducted.
At the hearing before the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) the burden is on the CSLB to prove by clear and convincing evidence that a contractor’s license should be suspended or revoked. The rules of evidence, however, are typically more relaxed. Following the hearing, the ALJ will issue a proposed decision.
The CSLB may adopt the proposed decision in whole or in part or may enter its own ruling. The CSLB can also request that additional evidence be heard. The decision of the ALJ becomes a final decision 30 days after service of proposed decision unless reconsideration is requested.
A contractor who is unhappy with a decision can seek judicial relief by filing a petition for peremptory writ of administrative mandamus in the superior court. The peremptory writ provisions of California Code of Civil Procedure section 1094.5 govern writs and require the superior court to conduct an independent review of the record. The parties may also appeal the decision of the superior court to the court of appeal.
Contractors who lose an accusation may be required to pay the CSLB’s investigative and enforcement costs and they can be substantial, running in the the tens of thousands of dollars. Like an adverse decision, a contractor can challenge the reasonableness of investigative and enforcement costs.
A contractor whose license is suspended may be reinstated upon proof of the contractor’s compliance with the conditions of suspension or, in the absence of such conditions, the discretion of the CSLB. A contractor whose license is revoked may not reinstate their license for a minimum of one year or up to a maximum of five years. A contractor will also be required to file a disciplinary bond.

DeckTech's Day to Answer Allegations of Defective Work is Here

Ron McKenna of DeckTech Inc, located in Grover Beach CA, with his insurance company provided attorney's, appeared at a court ordered arbitration at McDaniels Court Reporters office, located at 1302 Osos Street in San Luis Obispo. The long awaited date arrives and gives the plaintiff's suing DeckTech a chance to recoup their losses resulting from their alleged construction defects caused by Decktech and/or their sub-contractors, primarily Quality Tile of Arroyo Grande.

The arbitration is one part of the case, with the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) moving ahead with their own allegations against DeckTech relating to violations of the Business & Professions Codes, including taking too large of a deposit ($15,000 deposit when only $1,000 deposit was allowed by law), taking more money than work was done, not issuing conditional releases for funds that were paid etc. You can review DeckTech's license here at this link and read the CSLB complaint disclosure.

Check back and once the case has been settled, we will report on the results. Pundits weighing in on the matter told us that agreeing to arbitrate means the defendants chances in a court room aren't great and that arbitration is where they could limit any damages awarded. We've heard numbers around $100,000 to repair and redo the 850 square foot deck. Actual damages are usually awarded to the prevailing party in arbitrations, where in court trials and jury or judge could award other damages as well.

Alleged defects such as "picture framing" of tiles improperly grouted, improper minimum
thickness of waterproofing materials, poor tile installation etc are some of the problems DeckTech faces.

Ron McKenna arrives at McDaniel Court Reporters office on Osos Street in San Luis Obispo
for the beginning of an court ordered arbitration for his firms alleged construction defects. 

Ron McKenna enters McDaniels Court Reporters office on Osos Street.
His company, DeckTech Inc has been accused of causing damage to a home because of
construction defects.

DeckTech's order to arbitrate the matter.