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The Red Line Construction Litigation That Won't Die

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The Hollywood Reporter took a long, hard look last week at Ron Tutor, the construction magnate (of Tutor Perini Corp.) who last year bought indie film company Miramax with a group including Rob Lowe and Thomas Barrack, the chairman of Colony Capital (that's the investment firm that owns Neverland Ranch). Miramax has cut lucrative deals with Hulu and Netflix since the buyout, but it hasn't developed a single film--that, however, is not really our concern. What is our concern is that Tutor's construction company is still locked in a 17 year long fight with the city of LA over its work on the Red Line. Tutor-Saliba, the predecessor to Tutor Perini, sued Metro back in 1995 "for $16 million it said it was owed for unanticipated expenses, but a cross-complaint from the MTA argued that Tutor-Saliba was demanding money for illegitimate claims (there have been two trials and judgments in favor of both parties)." In 2006, a jury found that T-S violated the California False Claims Act--it's now appealing that verdict. Tutor's also involved in the debacle at Las Vegas's CityCenter project, where the Norman Foster-designed Harmon Hotel was only built to a little more than half its planned height and now sits empty. Tutor Perini says the building can be fixed, but co-developer MGM Resorts says it's a major earthquake hazard. And those aren't TP's only high profile jobs--they're currently working on New York's already infamous Hudson Yards megaproject. Meanwhile, Tutor is selling off tons of Tutor Perini stock, "at increasingly lower prices," partly to help finance his Miramax investment.
· Ron Tutor: The Lawsuits, Losses and Private Struggles of the Man Behind Miramax [THR]