Hard Rock lawsuit moves forward | RecordCourier.com
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Hard Rock lawsuit moves forward

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Lake Tahoe in Stateline announced a change in its management team on Wednesday, Oct. 14. Attorneys for the owners were back in court Wednesday, Oct. 28, challenging a claim by a contractor that it had not been paid yet.
Jack Barnwell / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

Lawyers for the Reno firm that built the Lake Tahoe Hard Rock dropped their efforts to attach the casino’s earnings on Friday as a lawsuit in the case moved forward.

The $9.6 million lien filed by SMC Construction Co. against Neva One in May was the opening salvo in a legal battle involving Hard Rock owners Jon and David Park.

Since then negotiations in an effort to settle the case have been unsuccessful.

On Friday, District Judge Tod Young heard a request for a partial summary judgment that would require a $6.4 million payment from Neva One to SMC.

SMC Construction Co. attorney Michael Springer argued that state law required Neva One to pay the bill. Young denied the motion without prejudice, which will allow Springer to raise the issue again.

Young also held a motion to dismiss a civil allegation of fraud against the Parks in abeyance until Springer had amended the complaint.

He pointed out that Neva One attorney Brad Johnston was correct that any charges included in the complaint must set forth specific issues against the Parks to move forward.

“You have a tough row to hoe,” he told Springer.

However, Young said he wouldn’t rule on the dismissal until he had the amended complaint.

Springer said that he was waiting for Neva One documents under discovery to file his amended complaint.

Young responded to a motion to compel Neva One to provide those documents by saying he would appoint a discovery master to work with both sides.

So far about 1,000 pages of documents have been turned over by Neva One. Park attorney John Boyden said there could be as much as 5,000 more pages to go.

Young gave Neva One 30 days after a discovery master is appointed to turn over the documentation, and SMC 30 days after that to file an amended complaint.

Young consolidated the case with a lawsuit filed against both Neva One and SMC by Savage & Sons on Oct. 2. The company said it was contracted to do plumbing work. It filed a mechanics lien for $820,000. In its filing, Savage reported receiving a $300,000 payment from the Parks.

The Parks received the Horizon Casino in the division of assets after Park Cattle Co. and Edgewood Co. split.

The Reno construction company bid on the original project when it was still the Park Tahoe. The original bid of $15.6 million for the project was reduced to $9.6 million before the Parks agreed in 2014.

In the following months, the contractor alleges there were nine architectural revisions by mid-November.

SMC’s Hard Rock Project Manager Joe Stewart testified in October that during a Dec. 31, 2014, conference call, he was told to work 24-7 to get the work done.

Three change orders from November, December and January increased the price of the work from $9.6 million to $14.8 million, according to Stewart.

The Hard Rock opened on Jan. 28, after being closed nearly 10 months.

SMC filed a lien May 4, claiming change orders nearly doubled the cost of construction.