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Construction lawsuit stops work on massive California project

It was just a year ago that California developers to the north of San Diego were celebrating the topping out of the massive, three-tower Oceanwide Plaza project. Now construction work on the Los Angeles development has come to a complete stop, news sources say.

A construction lawsuit by a major subcontractor claims that the company is owed more than $62 million. The concrete construction division of California-based Webcor Builders says it is owed by the prime contractor Lend Lease Construction and entities owned by Oceanwide Holdings Co.

Oceanwide is also at work on a large project in San Francisco, the news report says.

The Los Angeles Oceanwide development sits opposite the famed Staples Center sports arena and Los Angeles Convention Center.

Webcor is asking the Superior Court to award it not only tens of millions of dollars it says it is owed, but it also seeks to foreclose on a mechanics lien on the downtown project that will feature a three-tower hotel, condominiums and restaurant. If Webcor prevails, it could force the sale of the now-quiet property.

Oceanwide and Lend Lease both declined to comment on the construction litigation, but Webcor said in a court document that it had “encountered extensive delays to the performance of its work, labor inefficiencies, and disruption of productivity, for which Webcor was not responsible, and incurred significant additional costs as a result thereof.”

Webcor signed a $122-million contract back in late 2015 to do the bulk of the project’s concrete construction work. Its lawsuit says the “deficient” and “incomplete” project design was also late and required it to “perform added and changed work, and work under disruptive conditions.”

Meanwhile, the construction site is silent, with few signs that work on the project slated to be completed this year will resume soon.

Clearly, these types of disputes can stop projects and mean that participants incur significant costs. To avoid these sorts of dilemmas, speak to a law firm experienced in aggressive, effective construction litigation.