According to plaintiff attorney Jack Seiler, the case was very simple: “Andersen Builders did the work, did it well, got fired, and didn’t get paid.” Thirty-two consecutive payment applications were submitted by Andersen and were paid without objection. According to Seiler, the owner, Chris Kritikos, got in an argument with the architect, Peter Gluck. As a result of this dispute, Andersen was not paid for its last eight draws, totaling $548K.
According to defense attorney Louis Mrachek, representing owner Chris Kritikos, the owner was given an estimate of $4.1M and 14 months to complete the house, but the house was nowhere near done at the promised time or promised price. Mrachek said that Andersen had no experience building this type of high-end house, and that Andersen overcharged for the work. At the time the home should have been completed, $5.4M had been spent, the work was only 50-65% completed, and the budget had increased to $8M.
Ted Mortell, representing architect Peter Gluck, said that the owner requested significant changes, such as switching the exterior from stucco to marble, which increased both the price and slowed the construction. Also, said Mortell, Mr. Gluck is a world-renowned architect whose plans were not negligently prepared. Finally, although the project may have been 65% completed, it was nonetheless only a few months from completion, because the last 35% would not have taken as long as the first 35%.