Fast food restaurant in the Eastern Kentucky Coal Fields. The single story structure utilized wood frame bearing wall construction with a few interior columns. Shallow foundations were used. The estimated construction cost is $250,000.
A former silt pond was covered by approximately 10 to 15 feet of fill and leveled for commercial development. The depth of fill and sediments range from about 10 to 70 feet.
The structure began to experience settlements near the end of the construction phase. These movements are in excess of one foot and are continuing due to self weight consolidation of the underlying sediments. The alleged damages are the total loss of the settled building requiring either reconstruction with deep foundations or underpinning and refurbishing of the existing building, either of which would face continued long term subsidence of the ground surrounding the structure, or the abandonment of the site and structure.
Borings made by the geotechnical engineer on behalf of the owner were terminated at a depth of 10 feet, which was not adequate to discover the range of depth of fill underlying the site or the existence of the under consolidated sediments.
Litigation is pending between the owner, the geotechnical engineer and the general contractor. Negotiations have produced proposals from the geotechnical engineer to underpin the existing structure, but the parties have not reached an agreement as of this date on either the corrective procedure to implement or the allocation of the related costs, estimated to be in the $250,000 to $350,000 range. The case was settled for an undisclosed amount three days prior to trial after seven years of litigation.
The Attorney Client
For the Owner:
J. Patrick Sullivan
For additional information concerning this case,
STOKLEY-CHEEKS AND ASSOCIATES, INC
Copyright 2004 Richard Cheeks