Despite taking over the case in the late stages of litigation, Tanenbaum Keale LLP attorney Daniel Womac recently earned a favorable ruling for a construction company in the Superior Court of King County (Washington).

The matter involved a construction breach of contract claim brought by the firm’s client against the premises owner seeking to recover thousands of dollars in unpaid fees. The premises owner counterclaimed for breach of contract, claiming that the delay in the construction led to lost profits.

The counterclaim asked for more than $1 million in damages and attorney fees.

Womac entered two weeks before a bench trial – well after the discovery cutoff and the time for identifying witnesses, including experts. Prior counsel had named no experts, and the parties had deposed only two witnesses. Neither side moved for summary judgment.

In addition to analyzing hundreds of documents, the Tanenbaum Keale team spent hours preparing the client witnesses for testimony, drafted all trial briefings and uploaded hundreds of exhibits for trial. Opposing counsel also added more than 250 exhibits.

The King County judge found that Womac had proved the original breach of contract claim and awarded the majority of unpaid invoice costs, finding defective building plans, change orders,

the COVID pandemic and a Seattle concrete strike were completely out of the client’s control. The ruling also highlighted successful defenses to the counterclaims, ultimately saying the defendant failed to carry burden of proof on five of six claims.

Ultimately, Womac defeated the last settlement demand, and the judge awarded the firm’s client $30,000 and the defendant $114,000 – less than 10% of the counterclaim – and no attorney fees.