Berkeley co-op litigants agree on mediation

Parties on both sides of a lawsuit involving a Berkeley senior housing cooperative have agreed that more mediation, involving not only them but also contractors and the co-op’s insurance company, would be worth a try. The judge in the case also agreed to let the co-op add more defendants to its cross-complaint.

Attorneys for the plaintiff and defendants in a lawsuit involving a Berkeley senior housing cooperative agreed last week that further mediation in the case might resolve all the issues.

According to filings in the case by David H. Schwartz, attorney for co-op member Jonathan Pool, and Fred M. Feller, attorney for Berkeley Town House Cooperative Corporation and seven of its officials, San Francisco mediator and retired judge Richard Hodge brokered a tentative settlement in June, but it fell apart when the parties failed to work out all the remaining details and the co-op’s insurance company revoked an agreement to pay for corrections of defective waterproofing and construction at the co-op’s property. In a joint statement filed on Friday, Schwartz and Feller expressed optimism about further mediation by Hodge. They noted that the parties had continued negotiating and Danville construction contractor Garry Secrest, whom the co-op had brought into the lawsuit, had offered to participate in mediation.

Today Alameda County Superior Court Judge Steven A. Brick issued a tentative ruling approving the co-op’s motion to add another contractor and two more companies to those being sued in the co-op’s cross-complaint.

The lawsuit, filed in March 2012 by Pool, alleges that co-op officials paid Secrest $224,000 for bungled work performed with no license, no insurance, no building permit, and no signed contract, with almost all of the money paid without a required vote of the board of directors. Pool’s complaint also alleges neglect of seismic risks in the 60-unit 9-story building and numerous procedural violations by the corporation’s directors.

A case management conference in the suit is scheduled for Thursday.

2 thoughts on “Berkeley co-op litigants agree on mediation

    1. As mentioned in my earlier blog entry “Co-op expands contractor claims after insurer nixes settlement in suit”, the additional cross-defendants are Esteban Cardiel, Pacific CFC, and Esteban Floor Covering.

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