• December 19, 2014

Kempner City Hall lawsuit continues

City, contractor in negotiating phase

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Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 11:51 am, Wed Jul 16, 2014.

KEMPNER — Attorneys are working on finding common ground in a lawsuit between the municipal government and the contractor who built City Hall in 2011.

The suit pertains to the general contractor not repairing the building during the city’s construction warranty period.

“I contacted the attorney and said they can proceed with our offer,” said Mayor Gene Isenhour, while giving the City Council an update about civil suit proceedings Tuesday. “As we’ve seen all along, nothing moves very quick.”

The law firm representing Kempner, San Antonio-based McKamie Kruger LLP, filed a petition for a suit in 27th District Court in mid-September against Gene Doss Construction and United Fire and Causality Company.

Gene Doss Construction was the general contractor for City Hall, and United Fire and Causality Company was the building firm’s performance bond holder. The construction firm finished building City Hall in September 2011.

In the petition for suit, the city claimed both entities violated the city’s construction warranty by not fixing several problems with the building. Those included: two significant leaks in the mayor’s office; a large crack developing in the corner of the city secretary’s office, which indicated possible foundation issues; and a sticking door.

According to court documents, both entities denied all the allegations put forth by the city in October and November. On Dec. 27, United Fire and Causality Company requested a written discovery regarding the allegations.

“We have exchanged discovery back and forth, and we all sat down and had a discussion about the case,” said Ryan Henry, with McKamie Krueger.

All parties involved walked through the building earlier this month and are now beginning negotiations, he said.

“We are in the negotiation phase to determine if we are going to settle or make a case plan,” Henry said.

Neither party has filed motions that would constitute the case heading to trial as of Tuesday, according to court documents.

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