The city of Inglewood is being sued by a vendor for breach of contract, violating state requirements for “good faith and fair dealing” in construction contracts, providing defective plans, withholding retention money, and failing to fully compensate for work performed for the Century Blvd. Mobilization Improvement Project 3.
Inglewood entered into the agreement with Excel Paving in July 2018 to perform work on Century Blvd. between Inglewood and Doty Avenues. The project was approved on the July 17, 2018 regular city council agenda.
According to the lawsuit the work was performed between November 2018 and October 2020 and the delays
“During the project Excel performed extra work beyond that required by the contract, plans, and specifications as a result of work directed by the City…and the project was delayed by City’s failure to to timely provide the necessary site for installation and extra work directed by the City and/or required by field conditions which were not shown or different from the conditions shown on the contract plans and specifications.”
The lawsuit goes on to state that underground utilities interfered with the construction of the project and needed to be relocated and that the City failed to arrange and pay the necessary relocation fees to the specific utility companies and once brought to the City’s attention the City said they were working on it.
“After months of waiting and working around the interfering utility issues Excel discovered the City had not arranged for relocation of the utilities and/or paid the fees which Excel was then required to do with the utilities which caused substantial delays in the project.”
Residents are seeing similar delays with the repaving project of Centinela Blvd. The City’s vendor has just begun to stripe the streets and residents are complaining about the noise emanating from the work since it is being done in the middle of the night.
Councilman Alex Padilla sent out a newsletter to his constituents thanking them for understanding the “big picture”.
Treasurer Wanda Brown has consistently said Public Works Director Luis Atwell is “in over his head” on these construction projects and is not capable of performing the duties.
The project’s funding came from a combination of ROPS Tax Exempt Bonds, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro), and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).
A similar lawsuit was filed by Pinner Construction against the Los Angeles Community College District accusing the district’s project team of fraud, corruption and racketeering in conspiring to delay a construction project so consultants could garner more billable hours. Pinner also claimed a breach under the “good faith and fair dealing” in construction contracts.
It is unclear who the consultants are on Inglewood’s project and Excel’s lawsuit does not allege corruption or racketeering.
Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts consistently tells the public all of these projects are paid for out of designated funds that have all been received. The City has not answered the lawsuit detailing why payment was withheld.
Excel is seeking in excess of $1 million.excelpavingvinglewood1-30