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Lydig Construction, Inc. v. Martinez Steel Corp.

California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, First Division

February 26, 2015

LYDIG CONSTRUCTION, INC., Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
MARTINEZ STEEL CORPORATION, Defendant and Appellant.

APPEAL from orders of the Superior Court of San Bernardino County, No. CIVVS1301232 Michael A. Sachs, Judge.

Page 938

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 939

COUNSEL

Cohen & Lord, Karen D. Maher, James F. Boyle and Nairi S. Gruzenski for Defendant and Appellant.

Page 940

Gibbs Giden Locher Turner Senet & Wittbrodt, Richard J. Wittbrodt and Sara H. Kornblatt for Plaintiff and Respondent.

OPINION

BENKE, ACTING P. J.

The plaintiff and respondent in this construction contract dispute, Lydig Construction, Inc. (Lydig), was the general contractor on a large public works project. Defendant and appellant, Martinez Steel Corporation (Martinez), was the original steel supply subcontractor on the project. Lydig sued Martinez for additional costs Lydig incurred by virtue of the fact Martinez failed to supply steel for the project in a timely manner and Lydig, with the public agency's approval, had been required to replace Martinez as the steel supplier.

Shortly after Lydig filed its complaint against Martinez, Lydig moved for a right to attach order and a writ of attachment. In support of its motion, Lydig presented the trial court with its business records and declarations from its employees. The evidence Lydig presented set forth the circumstances that gave rise to Lydig's claims against Martinez and the amount of its claims. Martinez opposed Lydig's motion and presented the trial court with declarations from one of its employees that set forth its contention Lydig owed it for, among other items, steel Martinez had delivered to the project. In addition, shortly before the hearing on Lydig's motion, Martinez filed a cross-complaint in which it alleged claims that, if successful, would entirely offset Lydig's claims against it.

The trial court granted Lydig's motion for a right to attach order and issued writs of attachment in the amount of $203, 315. Martinez filed a timely notice of appeal and, as we explain, we reject Martinez's contention on appeal that its cross-complaint, as a matter of law, prevented the trial court from issuing a writ of attachment against it. We also reject Martinez's contention that Lydig's application for a writ of attachment was not supported by substantial evidence.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

In 2010, Lydig was the successful bidder on a project to expand San Bernardino County's (the county) Adelanto Detention Center (the project) and entered into a contract with the county to complete the project. Lydig's bid was based in part on a subcontractor's bid it had received from Martinez for reinforcing steel (rebar) needed to complete the project. After it was awarded the general contract on the project, Lydig entered into a subcontract with Martinez, which was effective on January 14, 2011.

Page 941

Although the terms of the subcontract required that Martinez provide Lydig with payment and performance bonds that would protect Lydig in the event Martinez was unable to meet the requirements of the subcontract, Martinez was unable to do so. In lieu of the required ...


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