seele Inc. Faces Lawsuit Over Broad Collection Museum Facade

Broad Collection, along with general contractor Matt Construction, recently filed a $19.8 million lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against German subcontractor seele Inc. for its alleged role in the delay of the completion of the Broad Collection museum in L.A.

The expected opening date of the museum was pushed back substantially due to alleged interruptions in construction. Now, the museum is looking for seele to pay for it.

The museum, a $140 million building with two floors of gallery space that will house nearly 2,000 works of art, had planned to open in 2014. However, it announced earlier this year it won’t open until 2015 and now blames seele and its affiliates for the construction delays.

seele was contracted to complete the museum’s “honeycomb-style” façade, known as “the veil,” which is made of steel and glass-fiber-reinforced concrete that wraps around the building’s exterior, according to Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, the firm representing the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs claim seele misrepresented its level of expertise when Broad agreed to pay seele $29.3 million in 2011 to design the 120,000-square-foot exterior and glass curtainwall, according to court documents. According to the museum, the “substantial delay” in the completion of the project spans “at least 15 months.”

The complaint alleges seele “did not possess the necessary skill, experience, resources, commitment or ability to perform the work at the Broad museum. seele had never before designed, fabricated and constructed work comparable to that required of it on the project.”

The complaint continues, “It did not have the experience or capability to design the FRC panels, or veil support steel. It did not have the resources or ability to fabricate the support steel to support the veil, particularly the oculus steel. It did not have employees with sufficient management skill to organize and implement the technical work to complete on time. Seele knew its representations were false when made, and intended them to mislead.”

seele GMBH, seele Group GMBH & Co., KG, Fidelity, Deposit Company of Maryland and Zurich American Insurance were also named as defendants.

A representative from seele didn’t return USGNN.com™’s request for comment as of press time. Stay tuned to USGNN.com for more information as it is made available.

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