Sunday, February 3, 2019

Maryland Developer Wins Federal Lawsuit Against 84 Lumber

A lawsuit started by Eight Four, PA based 84 Lumber in 2011 against Gregory Mortimera, a Washington County Maryland developer, has finally been resolved with 84 Lumber coming out on the short end of stick.

Over the past 15 years Mr Mortimera has built 150 houses and commercial units at Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland. 84 Lumber created program so that builders would not have to be at the job site. The company would handle all the labor and provide all materials.

Related article: Tiny Houses from 84 Lumber

Around 2008-09 he hired 84 Lumber to construct and perform supervisory work on the houses he was building. It soon became apparent that 84 Lumber did not perform their duties properly as the houses they built all had leaky roofs and so many other problems that new home owners couldn’t get homeowner’s insurance.

By 2009, problems with the construction had become apparent and Mr. Mortimer was complaining about the work on houses. By 2010, the work had not been corrected on units that Mr. Mortimer had sold. Other units that had not been sold were condemned by Garrett County.

Mortimera owed 84 Lumber $600,000 for materials and services and in 2011 84 Lumber sued him to collect.

He countersued and last month, almost 9 years after the houses were condemned, he won $281,000 in Federal court against 84 Lumber.

During the trial, the court found there was no 84 Lumber site superintendent regularly supervising the quality of the subcontractors’ work at the Timberlake and Cedar Creek sites and the buildings contained “numerous issues and defects associated with the foundations, sheathing, siding, roofs and framing constructed by 84 Lumber.

A professional engineer also testified that the Cedar Creek and Timberlake duplex construction was of “very poor” quality and that code compliance was “poor.”

It looks like Mr Mortimera would have been much further ahead of the game if he had just used modular construction where most of the problems he encountered would never had made it to the job sites.


Anonymous said...

Who was supposed to watch the Job Superintendents that were supposed to watch the subcontractors who were supposed to watch laborers. This has less to do about oversight and more about hiring cheap inexperienced labor and giving them no supervision or inspecting their work.

Damn right 84 Lumber should pay for this guy's mess.

Anonymous said...

if these programs worked .... everyone would be a builder / developer.

Install programs are proven but sit back and allow me to manager your project from start to finish .... not this guy who was born last night.

apparently 84 bit off more than they desired to chew, and this developer thought easy street ... in the end the no one won.

anyhow ....