Kirby Nagelhout Construction, BBT Architects sued

Lawsuit alleges Clear Choice building in Bend was poorly designed, constructed

By Shelby R. King / The Bulletin

Published Dec 22, 2013 at 12:45AM

A company that owns the building housing a Bend health care provider is suing a local construction company and a local architectural firm for up to $3.5 million each, claiming the design and construction of a building in northeast Bend violates several building codes.

Clear Choice Properties, LLC, a Bend-based company, owns the building that houses PacificSource Community Health Plans, which was formerly known as Clear Choice Health Plans. In 2006, the company contracted with BBT Architects, Inc. and Kirby Nagelhout Construction to build the 70,000-square-foot building at 2965 N.E. Connors Ave., in Bend.

The building was completed in 2008 and used environmentally sensitive construction materials. When the building was finished, its owners announced they intended to seek certification by the U.S. Green Building Council as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design building.

In November, Clear Choice Properties filed a lawsuit in Deschutes County Circuit Court alleging the construction company improperly installed windows and a main sewer pipe, causing it to “backup in various locations in the building,” improperly built exterior walls, concrete floors, stairs, balconies and exterior drains, and other items that caused “widespread moisture and water intrusion, continuous property damage and unsafe conditions,” according to court documents. The lawsuit also alleges Kirby Nagelhout Construction failed to construct the building in compliance with building codes, and Clear Choice Properties seeks $3.5 million in damages.

The plaintiff also seeks $3.5 million in damages from BBT Architects, alleging the firm “breached its duty of care by failing to use professional care to comply with all applicable codes, regulations and industry requirements in the design and oversight of construction.”

Clear Choice Properties claims without proper repair the damage will worsen. The owners say they are in the process of repairing the damage and have suffered “inconvenience and interference” from the damage that has resulted in “loss of use, loss of revenue and increased operating expenses.”

A representative for Kirby Nagelhout Construction declined to comment on the lawsuit. Calls to BBT Architects and the law firm representing Clear Choice Properties were not returned.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for April 17.

—Reporter: 541-383-0376, sking@bendbulletin.com