Aug. 14, 2012 — Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins expects the county’s dispute with All Weather Roof Systems LLC of Winchester (AWR) to be settled in court.
Watkins filed a motion for summary judgment on July 9 but he believes Circuit Judge William E Lane will deny the motion.
“As grounds, defendant has been sued for breach of contract for failing to prevent the jail from leaking and after being contracted to do so,” the summary says. “There is no dispute that the jail continues to leak after defendant completed the work.”
The county blames the contractor and AWR owner Wendell Marrs for promising results his company could not deliver.
“I think they were working with a new material and they weren’t comfortable enough with that material to do the job,” Watkins says.
The material is called “Karnak 229” and is manufactured by New Jersey-based Karnack Corporation from distributor Moore Roofing.
The system resembles that of spray-on truck bed liners and came with a full 10-year product warranty and a 10-year workmanship warranty.
“In my professional opinion, this is the best, most cost efficient roof system to meet your needs,” Marrs told the Fiscal Court last February.
The county paid the roofing company $13,500 to cut out existing material where water was trapped, remove water and install new pieces of material in place of old ones, spray the entire roof, walls and penetrations with base coat primer and spray the entire roof, walls and penetrations with a top coat.
After several months, Rowan County Judge-Executive Jim Nickell decided to take action and have the county attorney follow up because the roof was “not repaired to bid specifications.”
Marrs’ former counsel, attorney Mike Campbell and co-counsel Ashton McKenzie, have since withdrawn from representing AWR.
Before Campbell and McKenzie withdrew, they sent a statement to Judge Lane which read: “From the date of construction, it is widely known and well documented that there has been a chronic problem with a leaking roof. Over those years several attempts have been made to correct the leaking roof.”
According to AWR, “All Weather Roof Systems provided the county with two estimates for the roof; one being a repair and the other being a complete new roof. Going against the advice of All Weather Roof Systems, the county, advising that they were only going to be in the jail for five years, chose the cheaper route and upon accepting this, the possibility that it could take some time due to the condition of the roof and all the prior attempts to ‘patch’ the leaks. When things did not move as quickly as the county wanted, they began threatening a lawsuit and even called the distributor and threatened them.”
Watkins filed his motion, stating:
“Defendant’s counsel withdrew on May 18, 2012, and defendant was given 30 days to obtain new counsel and the case was continued until June 15, 2012, and defendant failed to show.”
AWR responded July 30 to Judge Lane: “Initially, the only court date we had been aware of was a status hearing on August 17, 2012, and we believed that we had until that date for new council to appear on our behalf.”
Attorney Ira Kilburn now represents AWR.
The county paid $33,755.00 to Becknell Construction to install a new roof.
Watkins requested AWR pay for the new roof.
AWR responded to Judge Lane in writing, saying, “The county denied access to the roof by the manufacturer of the product AWR applied and ultimately denied access to the roof by additional experts by installing a new roof which drastically and permanently altered the existing roof, thereby depriving AWR the opportunity to inspect, photograph and document the condition of the roof as it was, thus inhibiting the defendant’s ability to collect and preserve evidence necessary to defend themselves.”
AWR requested a new court date so the company can be “properly represented.”
Watkins says a scheduling hearing will likely happen within the next couple of months.
Nicole Sturgill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 784-4116.