Sometimes you can see a train wreck coming a mile away. The next case, Design Built Systems v. Sorokine, Court of Appeal for the First District, Case Nos. A151264 and A152059 (February 26, 2019), is one of those cases. It also happens to read like a Tolstoy novel.
The Beginning of the Train Wreck
Alexei Sorokine and Elena Koudriavtseva, husband and wife, owned a single family home in San Rafael, California. Sorokine had acquired the house prior to his marriage to Koudriavtseva. In 2010, he traveled to Russia and, for reasons unexplained, has not been able to return.
Following a landslide on the property in 2006, Sorokine entered into a construction contract with Design Built Systems to design and build a series of retaining walls. DBS was also retained to remedy a stop work notice issued by the City of San Rafael following work performed by others.