King County Superior Court issued sanctions of $1,641,721 in favor of Gefco and against Cascade Drilling, Inc. and its President, Bruce Niermeyer, composed of $1,394,435 in attorneys’ fees and $247,286 in expert fees. [i]
Cascade Drilling is a contractor. Gefco manufactures and sells large drilling machinery. The dispute centered around a project that began in 2008. Cascade was hired to drill a water well at a housing development in Wheeler Canyon, California. Cascade used a 50K drilling rig purchased from Gefco. The pump drive shafts on the drilling rig failed four times. After each failure, Cascade ordered a replacement pump drive shaft from Gefco.
In September 2008, Cascade ordered drilling equipment for an unrelated drilling rig from Gefco, but did not pay Gefco. Gefco then sued to collect. Cascade admitted not paying, but asserted counterclaims alleging that Gefco was indebted to Cascade for non-conforming and defective goods, including the replacement pump drive shafts purchased from Gefco for the Wheeler Canyon project.