NOTE: This story has been updated as new information was revealed.
- Turner Construction announced Monday it has filed a legal challenge to strike significant portions — which it considers "false, improper or irrelevant claims" — of Santa Clara County's lawsuit against Turner involving the $380 million Santa Clara Valley Medical Center project.
- "Turner is confident that when the facts are brought to light, the company will be fully vindicated," Turner Executive Vice President Michael Kuntz said in a press release. "The County’s action has only resulted in an ever-increasing financial burden for County taxpayers and further delays the benefits of a new Santa Clara Valley Medical Center for the community."
- Santa Clara County filed a lawsuit in September against the contracting giant for breach of contract and negligence regarding Turner's work on the delayed Valley Medical Center campus expansion project. The county's lawsuit asks for what officials say is "tens of millions of dollars" in damages due to Turner's delays on the project and alleged workmanship problems.
The legal matter matter has been assigned to the Complex Litigation Department and Judge Peter Kirwan, according to Turner spokesman Chris McFadden. The hearing on Turner's motion is set for March 18, 2016. The first court appearances will take place during a case management conference on Jan. 15. McFadden said Turner will file a counter-complaint for "the County's wrongful actions and to recover amounts lost by Turner and its Subcontractors due to the County's actions."
One of the main points of contention in the dispute involves Turner's work on Levi's Stadium for the San Francisco 49ers at the same time as its work on the medical center campus. Turner has been lauded for completing the football stadium on time and under budget. County Executive Jeff Smith previously said be believed Turner prioritized the stadium project over the hospital.
However, Turner denies any connection between the two projects. "The County has claimed Turner diverted workers from the Medical Center project to Levi’s Stadium," the company said in the release. "In fact, the public record clearly shows that the workforce on the Medical Center peaked at its highest during construction of Levi’s Stadium."
Turner also said in the release that Santa Clara County "has acknowledged its responsibility for more than three years of delays resulting from design deficiencies and an inability to make timely decisions. The County’s change orders have led to more than $150 million in added costs to the project."
Controversy over the hospital expansion project arose in late August, when Santa Clara County issued a formal notification to Turner that it was in "default" by $300 million on its contract.
County officials alleged the contractor had not given enough time and attention to the project, resulting in significant work delays that cost Santa Clara County $36 million annually in lost revenue plus $30 million for each year that work continues past the initial completion date.
After being accused of breach of contract, Turner spokesman Larry Kamer said that it's "wrong" to blame all the delays on the construction company. He said hundreds of the county's unexpected change orders and thousands of requests for design changes and clarifications added time to the project.