Undergrounding Law Suit
The City of Piedmont’s case against Robert Gray & Associates and Harris & Associates, Inc. currently is in the pre-trial phase of litigation known as “discovery.” The parties have been exchanging written information and documents, and have completed multiple key depositions. Attorneys representing the City expect to complete all necessary depositions and written discovery in the next few months. The Court has ordered the parties to engage in settlement discussions, and a mediation likely will be scheduled this summer. While the Court has not yet set a trial date, attorneys for the City anticipate that the trial date ultimately will be in Spring 2015.
Following direction from the City Council, the following documents have been posted related to the civil suit against the engineers for the Piedmont Hills Underground Assessment District:
- The City of Piedmont’s complaint against Robert Gray Associates and Harris & Associates
- Response from Robert Gray Associates
- Motion by Harris and Associates to compel arbitration
- Order Denying Motion to compel arbitration
- Notice of Appeal by Harris & Associates
- Cross Complaint by Robert Gray Associates against Harris & Associates & Coastland Civil Engineering
- Harris & Associates Opening Appeal Brief
- City of Piedmont’s Appeal Brief
- Robert Gray Associates Appeal Brief
- Order on City of Piedmont’s motion to augment record in appeal
- Harris and Associates Reply to appeal briefs
- Court of Appeal Decision on Harris & Associates Appeal
More information on the case is available from the Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa, “My Court Case” web site.
On March 21, 2013, the California Court of Appeal sided with the City of Piedmont in a procedural motion in its suit against the two engineering firms who designed the Piedmont Hills Undergrounding Assessment District.
The Court of Appeal upheld a lower court ruling that the City’s filing of its suit in Superior Court was indeed proper and that arbitration was not mandated by the City’s contract with its engineers.
The case will now go back to Superior Court and will be tried on its merits. No trial date has been set.