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Walsworth Obtains Summary Judgment for Subcontractor in Breach of Contract and Negligence Lawsuit

Attorney: Catherine M. Adams | Published 1.26.23

Walsworth Partner Catherine Adams recently obtained a summary judgment for a local subcontractor in a breach of contract and negligence lawsuit, in which the general contractor on a large Caltrans project alleged it was owed an amount in the six-figures due to the subcontractor’s faulty work.

Ms. Adams was able to convince the court that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) in a California State License Board (“CSLB”) hearing, held while the action was stayed, acted as collateral estoppel and prevented the general contractor from pursuing its claims. In that hearing the ALJ found that the work was not faulty and that the general contractor had withheld payment in bad faith.

Based on Ms. Adams’ legal analysis and presentation, the court found that the administrative decision could be used as issue preclusion in a civil lawsuit, and that the issues were identical in both actions. While the general contractor argued it did not have the same opportunity to conduct discovery and present expert testimony in the CSLB hearing, the court pointedly rejected these arguments. As such, it was held that the general contractor failed to show there was any triable issue of fact and the matter was disposed of in favor of the defense.

Walsworth would like to commend Ms. Adams and members of the Firm’s staff for their exceptional work on this case. For more information or specific guidance, please contact Catherine Adams.