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Legal Blog

Construction defects afflict luxury Paseo community in Fort Myers (Part 2)

In a recent post, we detailed some of the challenges at Paseo, Fort Myers' Mediterranean-themed, gated condominium community. According to news reports, homes there have been plagued by construction defects.

The developers, Stock Development LLC and Stock Construction, have filed multiple lawsuits regarding the construction defects, including suits that put the blame for various defects on architects, roofers and others.

Construction defects afflict luxury Paseo community in Fort Myers (Part 1)

In some ways, Fort Myers' shimmering, Mediterranean-themed gated condominium community known as Paseo is a huge success. After all, every single one of its homes has been sold.

However, beneath the veneer of financial success lie the stories of condos plagued by construction defects.

Florida's construction boom plagued by construction defects

Construction is booming across Florida. However, construct defect litigation has been on the rise in recent years, and it's predicted to continue that trend in 2019.

While a construction boom is good news for much of the state, driving unemployment even lower and wages higher for many Florida workers, the increase in construction defects has been a notable downside. In 2008, there were only 31 construction defect lawsuits filed in the entire state. But by 2017, that number had ballooned to nearly 1,000.

Luxury apartments marred by construction defects get a fresh start

If you drive about 25 miles southwest of Orlando, you will arrive in Celebration, Florida. The small town is home to Sola at Celebration, a 306-unit luxury apartment complex that was developed in 2015. However, the entire Sola property is currently vacant, according to news sources.

The property was vacated on orders from the Osceola Building Department because construction defects made the premises unsafe. A 2017 TV news report said an engineering firm inspected the property then and found "extreme deterioration" of the "wood structural members." The report also stated that the property was unsafe and sinking.

Florida Supreme Court to hear assignment of benefits case

Late last year, the Florida Supreme Court took up a case that will have major ramifications for the construction industry. It involves disagreement over a common practice known as "assignment of benefits."

Assignment of benefits, better known as AOB, occurs when a homeowner who needs repairs to their home signs over insurance benefits to a contractor, who is then to be paid from the insurer.

Florida appeals courts disagree on assignment of benefits

Two Florida appellate courts are contradicting each other on a matter important to not only the state's construction industry, but the insurance industry as well. The courts have come to conflicting decisions on whether insurance companies can require policyholders to seek mortgagees' consent for assignment of benefits (AOB).

A look at the Florida construction industry's "seven deadly sins"

Construction has been booming in Florida during recent years. However, along with that growth often comes a decline in quality. Labor shortages and increased demand for materials can jeopardize the integrity of the work.

A recent news article in Builder Online explores some of these struggles, particularly three common causes of construction defects: deviations from architectural plans, deviations from approved materials and deviations from standard quality practices.

Defective Building Materials (Part 4): Lessons from Chinese drywall

Construction defects can take many forms. One common type of defect involves shortcomings with the materials themselves. These problems can be costly, and when they impact numerous homes, the economic fallout is sometimes catastrophic.

Chinese drywall is an example of one such defective product that had an unimaginably far-reaching impact, not just in Florida but across the nation.

Strength in numbers: The advantage of a united owners association

It's a familiar saying that spans decades, political affiliations, religions and nationalities: "There is strength in numbers." In the context of our legal blog, the saying refers to the strength a group of condominium owners have when they band together to pursue a construction defects claim against a developer.

Clearly, when a condominium owners association speaks on behalf of dozens or even hundreds of unit owners, their complaints about defects can pack a wallop difficult for a developer to ignore. Of course, some developers might opt to ignore complaints regardless of the numbers behind them, but the strength in numbers will undoubtedly come into play when evidence of widespread defects is presented in negotiations or in court.

Two types of construction defects

Some things are obvious. Construction done with understrength concrete can result in defects visually obvious to everyone, such as crumbling or cracking walls. Readily apparently construction defects are referred to as obvious or patent defects, while the unseen flaws harder to detect are known as latent.

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