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Recent construction cases highlight common issues in construction disputes, P.2

In our last post, we began looking at a couple recent examples of Florida construction disputes, cases involving allegations of construction defects and incomplete work. As can be seen from these cases, a lot of money can be involved when defects are allowed in construction work. Another recent Florida case is slightly different from the two we’ve already mentioned in that it focuses not so much on construction defects, but design defects.

The architecture firm who came up with the design of a Broward County elementary school agreed to pay the school district a total of $1.56 million to cover expenses connected to fire safety problems with two buildings. Apparently, the school district discovered after construction began in 2002 that the buildings did not conform to the requirements of state fire codes.

As a result of the design errors and omissions, which included failure to fireproof ceilings, the school district incurred an additional $1 million in costs. As with one of the cases mentioned in our last post, the architecture firm in this case did not admit any fault in settling the case, and defended its actions throughout the course of the dispute.

Sometimes it is better to settle construction disputes than to fight them out in court, but it isn’t always clear at the outset what is best in any given case, especially for those who don’t have experience and knowledge of construction litigation. Having an experienced advocate at one’s side is essential in any case, not only to ensure that one has solid legal guidance in asserting the proper claims, but also in seeking appropriate damages and in navigating the legal process itself. In future posts, we’ll look briefly at some of these issues. 

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