Burlingame vice mayor sued over botched residential remodel job

Source: http://www.contracostatimes.com, July 7, 2011
By:  Joshua Melvin

A couple claims Burlingame Vice Mayor Jerry Deal — and the engineer he hired — botched plans for a residential expansion so badly that the homeowners ended up spending an extra $500,000 in order to finish the project, according to a lawsuit they filed in San Mateo County Superior Court.
Simon and Tina Jang are suing Deal, who owns design firm J Deal Associates, as well as Chu Design & Engineering Inc. for allegedly overestimating the structural strength of the couple’s home in the 1100 block of Cortez Avenue. It was only when the Jangs were midway through the remodeling project that they learned their home’s existing structure and foundation weren’t sufficient to support the addition.
As a result, the Jangs ended up spending $450,000 in extra construction costs as well as another $50,000 on expenses related to the project, according to the suit, which was filed June 15.
In addition to that amount, the Jangs are seeking any damages the court may wish to award them.
When reached by phone Wednesday, Deal said any issues with the project weren’t his fault.
“The engineer assumes all responsibilities for the calculations,” said Deal, who referred other questions to his lawyer.
Chu didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Jangs hired Deal in March 2007 to draw up the plans for their remodeling job, which included four bedrooms and a new garage, according to the lawsuit.
The couple agreed to pay $10,000 for the design work, which was completed in April 2008.
In the contract for the plans, Deal wrote, “My recognized design expertise, experience and a priority attitude on your project means it will be delivered on time and to your satisfaction.”
Two months later, in June, the Jang’s contractor told them their foundation wasn’t strong enough to support the additional rooms.
The couple’s attorney, Charlie Yu, declined to comment on the case.

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