12/08/2008 12:00AM

Complaint filed by Cushion Track


Cushion Track, the company that was hired by Santa Anita Park to convert its dirt racetrack to an artificial racing surface in 2007, has filed a third-party complaint accusing its contractors and subcontractors of supplying deficient materials for the project.

The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, is part of a larger suit initiated by Santa Anita Park after the track's artificial racing surface was replaced in 2008 because of the surface's inability to drain water properly. After the surface was replaced, Santa Anita filed a lawsuit against Cushion Track, accusing the company of failing to perform the duties of its contract and breach of warranty.

Cushion Track maintains in the complaint that it is not liable for any of the problems associated with the surface, which was replaced in 2008 by Pro-Ride, a competitor of Cushion Track. The company said in the Dec. 1 complaint, however, that if it is found liable in court for damages to Santa Anita, those damages should be collected from the subcontractors who provided the sand for the racing surface and the asphalt for the base of the track. The suit also names the general contractor who hired the sand and asphalt providers.

The suit contends that Cushion Track had asked for sand with a lower silt and clay content than was provided. In addition, Cushion Track said that its officials had asked the asphalt provider to supply samples of the material well before the asphalt was laid down, but that the company's officials did not comply with the request until four hours before the asphalt's application. The suit also says that the general contractor ignored requests by Cushion Track to delay the installation of the surface material until after the asphalt had cooled properly.

Santa Anita's suit against Cushion Track seeks $8.4 million in restitution.