County Files Lawsuit to Recover Damages on Courthouse
On Monday, August 19, 2013, Lee County filed a lawsuit in Lee County District Court to recover damages from Architects Rabe+Partners, Dale A. Rabe, Phoenix I Restoration and Construction, Ltd., and D. C. Sellers Inc. (a General Partner of Phoenix I Restoration).
There are two major issues in the lawsuit. The first issue is the contention that the drainage system built and installed during the major portion of the renovation of the County Courthouse in 2000 was improperly designed and constructed. The suit claims that the installed and constructed system was not the same as the one originally designed and approved, and that as a consequence of its design and construction, the soil around the Courthouse became saturated, and this expansion caused movement and damage to the exterior walls of the Courthouse.
The second issue is the contention that the construction and renovation of the interior balconies was done improperly and not in accordance with the approved plans and specifications. As a result, the balconies became unsafe and extensive repairs have been required. The lawsuit is asking for damages of $1,700,000 for the remediation and replacement of the drainage system, for the remediation and repair of the subsequent building movement, for remediation and repair of the balconies, and for the remedial costs of other parts of the Courthouse related to these (i.e. cracks in interior walls, structural damage to porticos, and the like). The County is also asking for all attorneys’ fees and interest on all costs and fees.
Dale Rabe told the Leader, “Our firm has been in business for 30 years and has never had a client bring a suit against us. We feel the charges are unfounded and we’ll file a reply on the accusations within the next 30 days.”
Lee County has not filed a civil lawsuit in over ten years.