The 224 unit mixed-use building is located near the San Francisco Design Center and was completed in 2008 with nearly 80% BMR or below market rate units. James. E. Roberts-Obayashi Corporation and A.F. Evans Company developed the building and by 2010 the building began to notice visible construction defects. The common areas showed visible signs of water intrusion, window failures, roof leaks, metal corrosion and cracking in stucco and exterior walls, along with plumbing and mechanical issues.
According to Thomas E. Miller, CEO of The Miller Law Firm, "Like many buildings completed in 2008, this builder declared bankruptcy shortly after the project was sold. Associations do have rights to proceed against insurance companies for these bankrupt entities, which many consumers may not know. While bankrupt builders take little or no interest in a case or its outcome, their insurance companies will hire counsel and experts to defend their positions and construction defect claims are ultimately paid."
Jonathan Schaefer, President of the board of directors of the Association, states, "We knew the builder was bankrupt but we also knew that the Association would be better off pursuing a claim against their insurance rather than using our own reserve funds or owner assessments. While it is unfair that large builders are able to walk away from all of their obligations, we are just grateful that the funds we did receive will help restore our community."
According to Rachel Miller, Senior Partner of The Miller Law Firm, "What was so genuine about this building is the close knit community that the owners shared. A predominately Cantonese speaking community, our firm created a translation program to communicate to the owners with letters and updates. Respecting the interests of each unit owner with this program helped alleviate the fear of the unknown while educating the community on the ongoing investigations and the final recovery."
Thomas E. Miller and Rachel M. Miller of The Miller Law Firm (www.ConstructionDefects.com) are the co-authors of, "Home and Condo Defects: A Consumer Guide to Faulty Construction," (Seven Locks Press, 2012), available online at www.amazon.com.
Detailed information regarding this case can be accessed via the San Francisco Superior Court website at www.sfsuperiorcourt.org case number CGC-10-500938.