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March 5th, 2008

America Business
Owner Readies Legal
Suit Vs. Tesoro Resorts

* Cape Marine has had Massive flooding, little maintenance over many years, says owner

An American business owner near Cabo’s marina is hopping mad and planning to sue his landlord, Tesoro Resorts, in Mexican court for damages he alleges his facilities and products have sustained from years of neglectful maintenance and inept repairs.

Phil Goerss, the owner of Cape Marine boating supplies and resort wear, says Tesoro and its parent company, the Newport Beach, CA-based Steadfast Companies, owe him at least $125,000 for repeated water and sewage damage to his premises since Steadfast took over Tesoro Resorts in 2004.  He also says the company’s repair workers damaged the awnings and sign outside his business while painting and repairing cracks in the building façade several months ago.
“They messed with the wrong Gringo,” said Goerss.  “…The people I know down here, are not lightweights.  I am going to help the people who don’t have the means to go about it themselves… In Mexico you can get justice, it just takes a long time.  I am not going away.”

“If [Goerss] decides to send it to the courts, we will have to go along with what the judicial authorities decide,” countered Tesoro Resorts condominium administrator Ana Maria Wilson.  “We will have to present our response to his complaint.”

Goerss says his store has been flooded 80 times since 2004 alone.  Wilson called this estimate a “tremendous exaggeration,” but acknowledged “four or five” floods have taken place in Cape Marine sinceSteadfast took over the troubled facility.   On those occasions, she said, Tesoro eventually fixed the pipes and its insurance company to pay Goerss an amount less that 100% of repair costs, which he rejected.  Wilson argued that the maintenance problems are the result of inadequate funding for maintenance by Promotora del Cabo, the company that originally developed the property 16 years ago.  They ran into financial problems.  She saidTesoro’s maintenance services have continually improved since Steadfast took over.  Since taking charge, she said, Steadfast has mapped all the building’s internal water pipes and electrical systems, which had long since been lost, and has continued to provide maintenance and other services to Cape Marine as well as many businesses that have refused to pay their maintenance fees.

Goerss, 35, who runs Cape Marine, along with soul mate Jennifer, has refused to pay his monthly $645 maintenance fee to Tesoro and its predecessor since 1997 or 1998, because of the floods that have periodically visited his store since 1996.

The only benefit Tesoro has removed from Goerss despite his refusal to pay his maintenance fee has been the complimentary parking space provided to business owners of Tesoro shops, Wilson Said.  She hinted, however, that Tesoro soon may pursue legal action against Tesoro tenants that willfully neglect to pay their maintenance fees.  She noted that a directive was approved at the general meeting of Tesoro shareholders last December that cleared the way for such action during this calendar year.

Meanwhile, Goerss’ attorney, Alejandro Perdomo has been reaching out to other tenants in the building who have experienced similar maintenance problems.  He would like to gain their cooperation in a possible class action suit.  Perdomo predicted that the legal work required to file a case will be completed by the end of the month.

To bolster his case, Goerss has photographs of damage and receipts and import bills of repair related supplies and replacement products he was forced to purchase.  He said he has had as many as six floods in one day, and that he has had to provide the workers who were sent to fix the problem with the proper tools and even food.  In a letter he sent to Wilson on Jan 31st, Goerss specifies specific amounts of damages from floods that occurred on July 2, 2004, June 9, 2005, July 18, 2005, and March 30, 2006.

Nonetheless, Tesoro’s Wilson said the last flood, which took place about four months ago, was caused by a burst water heater in the apartment above Cape Marine rather than by the buildings rickety pipes.  She said in that case the responsible party was the apartment owner, not Tesoro.

“Public awareness and to hurt them financially are the only things that will get a company of this size to change, Goerss said.  He said Luis Garcia, Stead fast’s top honcho in Mexico, basically challenged him to try to makeSteadfast pay.  “He said, ‘Take a crack at me,’ so that’s what I am doing… I am willing to take substantial loss in money just to have paper that we beat them in court and [to make sure] that this will not happen again.” Tesoro’s Wilson said she could not comment on exchanges between Garcia and Goerss because she did not attend all the meetings between them.

“In the next six months this is going to et really ugly,” Goerss predicted.  “I would really like to hear from their end what their possible excuse is… Whatever lies they come up with, we have the proof to back up our statements.  What do they have?”

“I love Cabo,” added Goerss.  “I support the locals and they support me.  It’s the unbelievably corrupt management of this hotel that is driving everyone absolutely crazy.  They have turned a lot of people’s dreams into nightmares.”





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Tesoro Resort Cabo San Lucas | Wyndham





Tesoro Resort Cabo San Lucas | Wyndham


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Plagued by Problems

Tesoro Resort Los Cabos avoids dealing with local business owner's complaints.

By Baxter D. Wall

Tesoro Resort Cabo San Lucas | Wyndham

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