Business Monday: Fallout over home construction sparks litigation
An Aspen home under construction is the subject of litigation alleging its owner, a prominent New York resident, entrepreneur and media personality, stiffed the general contractor for nearly $650,000.
Aspen company Hendrickson Construction Inc. filed suit last week in Pitkin County District Court against CRMX-236, a limited liability company controlled by Christy Ferer.
Ferer, a television reporter and entrepreneur who started the branded content media company Vidicom, said Friday by email that Hendrickson Construction Inc. was fired with cause and referred questions to her attorney, who declined comment.
Hendrickson Construction’s complaint was filed Tuesday. It claims that Ferer, on Aug. 9, terminated the firm as the general contractor — without cause and effective immediately — on a residential project at 219 N. Monarch St. in Aspen’s West End neighborhood.
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The split came after Hendrickson and Ferer had entered into a contract agreement in January 2018, according to the suit’s accusations.
The suit also alleges Ferer meddled with Hendrickson’s work before the termination and “started face-to-face disputes with subcontractors, causing significant delays and cost increases.” She also “occupied and used” the property while it was under construction, causing more construction setbacks and escalating costs, alleges the suit, while noting that Hendrickson complied with more than 70 change-orders Ferer made to the project.
Hendrickson also has a mechanic’s lien on the property, which also was filed Tuesday, against both CRMX-236 and Ferer, saying the construction firm is owed $538,841 for its labor and materials associated with the work. Local landscape architecture and construction management firm The Stevens Group also has a lien on the property for $14,369 since Aug. 8, according to pubic records.
Hendrickson’s lawsuit says the contractor was refused payment for its work, and now the bills are past due in the amount of $538,841, as well as past-due interest of $3,566 and another $57,419 in expected profits; the plaintiff also is seeking at least $50,000 in economic damages for the plaintiff.
All told, the suit says Ferer is on the hook for $649,827.
Ferer’s CRMX-236 bought the property for $8.4 million in August 2017, according to public records.
Hendrickson and the attorney who filed the suit, Aaron Berne of the Glenwood Springs firm Karp Neu Hanlon PC, did not reply to messages left with them Friday.
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Each week for the next month, Pitkin County will allow a new group of businesses to open under guidelines meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19.