Two lawsuits filed against C.C. Myers Inc. construction company

Construction crews work on eastbound lanes of Interstate 80 through north Sacramento on Across the Top project. Photo taken July 22, 2015
Construction crews work on eastbound lanes of Interstate 80 through north Sacramento on Across the Top project. Photo taken July 22, 2015

The C.C. Myers Inc. construction company is being sued for alleged failure to pay suppliers and contractors on a major freeway project in the Bay Area. It’s the second lawsuit in a week against the Rancho Cordova-based company, which appears to have closed earlier this year amid financial troubles.

Attorneys for Bay Cities Paving & Grading filed suit Tuesday in Sacramento Superior Court, saying the local contractor owes $900,000 for unpaid work in a Contra Costa County highway project that has since been completed.

Bay Cities notably also previously teamed with Myers Inc. on the “Across the Top” Interstate 80 project in Sacramento, which remains unfinished. Myers Inc. turned control of the $133 million I-80 freeway project over to Bay Cities in January, citing financial duress.

C.C. Myers Inc. is unaffiliated with C.C. Myers, who left the company in 2008 and now runs a separate construction firm, Myers & Sons.

Caltrans representatives did not respond Tuesday to a Sacramento Bee request for comment on the status of the I-80 project. A Bay Cities representative said the Sacramento I-80 project is ongoing, despite Myers Inc. backing out. Earlier this year, a Caltrans spokesman said the massive project, involving rebuilding 10 miles of freeway, is expected to be finished late this year.

Bay Cities’ attorney John Gladych said his company is attempting to find out what C.C. Myers Inc. did with at least several million dollars of project payments Gladych said Myers received from Caltrans that “did not make its way to the subcontractors and suppliers.

“To date, despite being a joint-venture partner with my client, no accounting or bank records showing what happened to the money has been provided,” Gladych said.

The lawsuit contends that the Myers company was insolvent during construction on the Contra Costa project, though Bay Cities didn’t know it. The lawsuit alleges that Myers Inc. breached its contract with Bay Cities “by, among other things, failing to timely pay for such work, labor, materials, services and equipment provided by plaintiff.”

Although the lawsuit lists Caltrans as a co-defendant, the company does not allege that Caltrans did anything wrong and does not request reparations from the state.

Another lawsuit against C.C. Myers Inc. was filed Friday in Sacramento Superior Court by Con-Fab California, a Stockton-area company that was building the concrete supports for a bridge project in Petaluma. The company contends that Myers failed to make its final $500,000 work payment, even though Myers got money from Caltrans to make that payment.

A Bee review of Caltrans’ major construction payment web page shows that subcontractors have filed $4 million worth of stop-payment notices on former C.C. Myers Inc. jobs in Contra Costa County and in Southern California, representing money those companies say Myers owes them.

The Myers company’s attorney, Russell Austin of the Murphy Austin law firm in Sacramento, declined to comment Tuesday on the lawsuits and the company’s status, saying, “We haven’t been served with any lawsuits. We are not in a position to comment on those today.”

Company phones have gone unanswered during several Bee phone calls since January. There is no record of any bankruptcy filing for Myers in federal court. The company’s state contractor’s license is still active, but with the notation on the state contractor’s website that it “may be suspended” in May if the company doesn’t file a workers’ compensation insurance policy with the state.

Speaking to The Bee in January, Myers Inc. President Steve Francis said his company was dropping out of projects in Sacramento, Fairfield, Petaluma and Antioch because of financial troubles. He said at the time that the company was restructuring. He declined to say whether the company was dissolving.

The Myers company was founded in 1977 by C.C. Myers. Myers lost the firm in a 2008 bankruptcy. The company has since been employee owned. C.C. Myers formed a new company in 2010 called Myers & Sons, which also does freeway contract work with Caltrans in the Sacramento area.

Tony Bizjak: 916-321-1059, @TonyBizjak