- AECOM-owned Hunt Construction has paid the Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians $20 million in order to settle a "shoddy work" lawsuit involving a hotel and two restaurants that are part of the Calusa Casino complex north of Sacramento, CA, according to the Sacramento Business Journal.
- In 2010, the tribe closed the hotel, which Hunt completed in 2005, amid claims of leaking windows, roof and walls, as well as improperly installed fire sprinklers, safety and structural issues and work that did not meet building codes.
- Hunt did not accept responsibility for the defective work — claiming it was a warranty issue and the fault of subcontractors, according to the tribe's attorney — so the tribe hired another construction company to make repairs and reopened the hotel in 2012.
The five-year lawsuit went to trial in January, but Hunt, SOSH Architects and the subcontractors all eventually agreed to settle with the tribe. The tribe's lawyer, Dan Steinberg, said that during the four years of mediation, Hunt never admitted liability and refused to settle. In fact Hunt filed lawsuits, which have also been settled, against subcontractors it said were responsible for the subpar work.
SOSH Architects, according to the Business Journal, found that Hunt was responsible for many of the problems. Although it came to an agreement with the tribe on its own, SOSH sought reimbursement from Hunt.
Construction companies have racked up hefty fees and fines in defect cases this year. A Florida court ordered the country's largest homebuilder, D.R. Horton, to pay $9.6 million to repair defects in a 240-unit Jacksonville, FL, condo development after residents complained of cracked stucco, leaking roofs, and faulty windows and sliding glass doors for almost four years.
Also in Florida this year, KB Home reached a $23.5 million settlement deal with the Florida attorney general’s office after the state alleged that the homebuilder did not let buyers know about building code violations in their homes or that they were not built according to the original plans and specifications.