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FROM: ASSISTANT TO THE CITY MANAGER
DATE: APRIL 18, 2006
SUBJECT: CLAIM AGAINST THE CITY BY GEORGE CARABET
The City’s Claims Administrator, Carl Warren and Company, has advised the City to reject the claim. On April 4, 2006 the City Council continued this item to allow the claimant to speak before the City Council.
On April 3, 2006 the claimant contacted the City Council and staff questioning the staff recommendation to reject his claim. Claimant George Carabet also requested that the City either offer a settlement or file claims and any additional legal action against the City Contractor and their insurance carrier for his damage. Below is a brief explanation of the steps taken by Carl Warren & Company, the claim administrator for all member cities of the California Joint Powers Authority.
After reviewing the available facts of Mr. Carabet’s claim, Carl Warren & Company sent the attached letter (dated March 14, 2006) to Mr. Carabet that Carl Warren & Company will forward his claim to Damon Construction for consideration and its recommendation that the City not settle the claim. To date, Damon Construction has not released its determination to Carl Warren & Company.
The City is not held liable for any damage caused solely by a City contractor. Therefore, minor claims involving a City contractor are routinely forwarded to the appropriate contractor for consideration as a courtesy to the claimant. Claimants are informed of this and advised to file individual claims with the city contractor, because Carl Warren & Company is neither authorized nor responsible for filing claims on behalf of private individuals.
If the City contractor is unresponsive to a legitimate claim against the contractor, Carl Warren & Company will forward the claim to the contractor’s insurance carrier as a courtesy to the claimant. The claimant is still responsible for filing an individual claim directly against the contractor’s insurance carrier; Carl Warren & Company cannot do that for the individual. Carl Warren & Company is monitoring Mr. Carabet’s claim and has not yet sent Mr. Carabet’s claim to Damon Construction’s insurance carrier at the time this report was written.
If both the City and contractor deny Mr. Carabet’s claim, Mr. Carabet may still pursue his claim through small claims court.
Should the City Council wish to bypass the standard claim protocol of Carl Warren & Company and authorize a claim settlement, Carl Warren & Company would settle the claim at the City’s expense. However, staff does not advise this action, because it would establish a negative precedent for resolving third party claims at the City’s expense for damages by City contractors.