Defective Design or Construction? The Time to Call for Expert Guidance Is Now.

Owners of newer hotels, apartments, commercial and industrial buildings shouldn’t assume that all repairs and maintenance are inevitable. For many unfortunate owners, the costs associated with project preservation may be more burdensome than pre-development financial forecasting indicated. Those unlucky investors could be the victims of improper design and and/or defective construction practices on the part of those involved in the development of their project. 

By its very definition, a design or construction defect represents a condition that cannot be maintained.  Defective conditions must be repaired, modified and altered before normal and routine maintenance can occur. This, of course, can be a very costly, invasive and time-consuming process. Nevertheless, these remedial measures may be absolutely necessary to restore the building to its intended function and preserve its long-term value and viability.

Should owners find themselves in this unenviable position, it is important that qualified forensic consultants and attorneys specializing in construct defect matters be retained to assist in diagnosing, repairing and documenting the defective conditions at the project. This is because the designers and contractors involved in the development and construction of buildings bear liability for defective conditions resulting from their work. If handled properly and under expert guidance, building owners can obtain compensation for necessary repairs, loss of revenue stemming from the defects, monies spent on technical investigations, even reimbursement of legal fees in some situations.

Retaining attorneys and construction consultants undoubtedly requires additional investment on the part of the building owner. However, that investment is typically well worth it at the end of the claim process when the owner obtains compensation to offset the losses suffered. In many instances, the technical consultants and attorneys may be willing to defer portions of the owner’s payment and to work on a contingency arrangement, whereby their compensation is paid only after a successful settlement or monetary award.

Those owners who attempt to go it alone, without expert consultants and specialist attorneys, risk the detrimental spoliation of evidence, and missing important and sometimes convoluted legal timelines known as statutes of limitation. Additionally, having credible professionals on your side will help ensure that all-important insurance coverage is triggered for the benefit of the owner and that the potential existence of additional and less obvious defects is also investigated.

No one wants a building with construction defects. However, for those that find themselves in that unfortunate situation, it only makes sense to pursue compensation from those responsible. To ensure ownership is not left holding the bag, reach out to qualified professionals that can ensure claims are timely made, that important evidence is properly preserved and that building owners have an opportunity to be made whole. 

About the Author

Aaron Zimmerman
Aaron Zimmerman is a partner at Berding & Weil Attorneys at Law.

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