Colorado Casino Sues Construction Co. Over Hotel Issues

Written By T.J. McBride on 02/24/2023
Colorado Casino Legal Battle Against Construction Co.

In Black Hawk, there’s a legal battle between a popular Colorado casino and resort and a construction company they employed for faulty and defective work. This most recent lawsuit is a continuation of their legal fights despite years of litigation against each other.

Monarch Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk claims that their construction contractor, PCL Construction Services Inc. (PCL), performed second-rate work on the construction project that was valued somewhere around $250 million in an expansion and renovation project.

This comes after a previous 2019 complaint against Monarch Casino by the same construction contractor that had to do with the casino not agreeing to the maximum price proposals. And a handful of other lawsuits filed against one another.

So, what are the specifics of the most recent legal fight between Monarch Casino Resort Spa and PCL?

Details of the Monarch Black Hawk and PCL Construction Services lawsuit

This most recent lawsuit filed to a Denver court by Monarch claims PCL performed bad and nonfunctional work. The poor construction has led to issues at the Colorado casino and hotel complex.

According to the lawsuit, Monarch Casino claims the construction contract was worth $250 million and it included,

“a new 23-story tower that includes five ‘podium’ levels of casino gaming, restaurants, hotel administration, and lounges [as well as] world-class luxury hotel rooms, suites, and amenities at upper levels 6-23… The Project further included, in relevant part, luxury renovations and upgrades of the existing casino.”

Seemingly from the moment they agreed to work together back in 2016, things have gone wrong. In the lawsuit, there is a plethora of arguments by Monarch against PCL ranging across different topics.

The lawsuit came down to two sticking points

The first was PCL’s “bad faith execution of the project”:

  • PCL’s inability to commit to a project schedule and instead despite many requests by Monarch to set a timeline.
  • PCL, “improperly and inappropriately terminated the parties’ Agreement,” which forced Monarch to complete the project through a different contractor.
  • “From Monarch’s perspective, it appears PCL willfully, knowingly, or intentionally abandoned its effort to provide quality control and workmanship consistent with the Agreement, industry standards, state laws, and local building codes, ultimately delivering a defective, nonconforming, and incomplete Project.”

The second was PCL’s “substandard, late, and nonconforming work”. There was a laundry list of issues stated in the lawsuit, but ultimately it outlined exactly what one would expect. Simply, the job done by PCL was a complete failure in the eyes of Monarch Casino.

According to the lawsuit, the work that PCL provided to the Colorado casino, “failed to conform to the Agreement, industry standards, state laws, and local building codes, and PCL ultimately delivered a defective, nonconforming, and incomplete Project”. The lawsuit continues to go on to say the defective work is, “extensive,” and that there were “innumerable instances” of failed work.

“And I can go on and on forever about interior issues,” Monarch attorney John A. Wharton of Greenberg Traurig LLP told Law360, saying much of them are mechanical, electrical, and plumbing matters, as well as design issues. “It is as granular as light fixtures falling out the ceiling above bathtubs.”

The lawsuit is 12 pages long and has 87 separate points of contention listed. There seems to be more than enough evidence of failed work by PCL.

“It has been an ongoing, long, pretty tumultuous relationship with PCL,” Wharton told Law360. “It has just been a disastrous construction project from start to finish.”

Long history of legal battles between Colorado casino and construction co.

Back in 2019, the two companies failed to reach a consensus on a guaranteed maximum spending amount for the project. At that time, PCL initially accused the casino of not paying them. This most recent lawsuit from Monarch Casino against PCL comes three years later.

Monarch Casino countered that complaint claiming PCL was refusing to set a schedule or guaranteed maximum budget to run up the bill. A trial for this 2019 complaint is set for September of this year.

PCL filed another lawsuit against Monarch in 2021. Other subcontractors have joined that lawsuit against Monarch Casino but that resolution will have to wait until the original 2019 lawsuit is completed.

These legal battles between the Colorado casino and PCL do not seem to be ending any time soon.

Photo by Graphic by PlayColorado
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T.J. McBride

T.J. McBride is a Denver-based writer and reporter with an extensive background in covering the NBA and Denver Nuggets. T.J. is Southern California native who provides news and analysis on the legal gambling industry across a number of Catena Media's regional US sites.

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