Contractor sues fellow contractor in Berkeley co-op case

A contractor being sued by a Berkeley housing cooperative has filed a complaint against other contractors he had worked with, while also seeming to drop his request for a separate trial.

There was a new development on Monday in a complex lawsuit involving a Berkeley senior housing cooperative.

Garry Secrest and American Pacific Coatings, Inc., of Danville, filed papers in Alameda County Superior Court again denying any wrongdoing in their 2009–2010 work at Berkeley Town House Cooperative Corporation, but claiming that if they were found to have damaged the co-op then the damage would be due to “the negligence, failure to act, unlawful conduct, misrepresentations, strict liability, breach·of oral and written contracts, if any, breach of express and implied warranties, if any, and on other conduct” of Esteban Cardiel and two related companies (Pacific CFC and Esteban Floor Covering) that worked with Secrest on the waterproofing and exterior construction job.

In a prior answer, Secrest had stated an intent to ask the court to try the case against him separately from the case it arose from, a suit by a co-op member against eight current and former co-op officials for, among other things, illegally hiring and paying Secrest. In Monday’s filings, Secrest appeared to drop this request and instead argued that each plaintiff’s claims in the case and Secrest’s claims against Cardiel “arise out of the same transaction, and determination of both in one proceeding is necessary and appropriate to avoid circuitry and multiplicity of action”.

The next case management conference is scheduled for 9 July.

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