James E. Drummond, the senior member of the firm's Construction Group, prevailed in a court trial on behalf of our client who sought to recover excessive overcharges for storage of steel pipe under an oral agreement. The owner of the storage yard had unilaterally increased the storage charges to roughly twice the prior amount which our firm's client paid until it could locate a replacement storage facility and move its approximately two million dollar inventory.
The issues in the case involved the nature of the storage relationship as a statutory bailment under the California Civil Code and that the yard owner was a voluntary depositary for hire, and as such was not entitled to increase the storage charges without the consent of the depositor. The trial involved the classic situation where the opposing witnesses completely contradicted each other. In his Intended Decision, the judge specifically incorporated by reference over 16 pages of Mr. Drummond's post trial brief agreeing with both the statement of the law as well as the analysis on the credibility of the witnesses. Judgment was entered in favor of the firmís client for 100% of the principal sum sought plus prejudgment interest and costs.
The firm provides comprehensive services to the construction industry, from negotiation of construction contracts to resolution of lien and payment disputes, and from construction defect defense to commercial litigation on virtually any aspect of the construction business. Please call Tim Earl, Jim Drummond or Robert Allenby if you have any questions or need further information about this case or any other construction issue.