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Construction Defect Liability: What Contractors Must Know

A worker finds a construction defect in an apartment building.Sometimes agreements don’t go as planned when both sides aren’t upfront with issues. A construction defect takes place when there is a circumstance that lowers the value of a home. Patent defects are those that anyone can see right away, such as fire damage on exterior walls. On the other hand, latent defects can stay hidden for years.

Contractors should be on the lookout for defects to prevent problems in the future. Construction defect lawsuits can arise if someone discovers issues. Keep reading to learn more about construction defects and how to protect yourself.

1. Causes of Construction Defects

Construction defects can have one or many sources. Factors of a construction defect include:

  • Defective materials
  • Inadequate preparation
  • A low standard of work
  • Negligence

Some of these factors overlap. For instance, a lack of proper preparation may lead to low standards of work being accomplished. 

2. Common Types of Construction Defects

Knowing the common areas of construction defects can help contractors focus on main problem areas. The common sources of issues include:

  • Drains
  • Electrical 
  • Foundation
  • Heating / Cooling
  • Landscaping
  • Plumbing

These areas may crossover as well. For example, a heating and electrical system will probably overlap - problems in one may lead to problems in the other. 

3. Recovering Damages

The injured party - typically the current home or property owner - may have incurred costs based on the defect. In some cases, the cost of repairs and drop in the property value helps to form the amount of damages. Additional charges may include temporary housing, court and attorney costs, and any personal injury related to the defect. 

4. Proving Construction Defect in Court

Expert testimony is a major basis of evidence in construction defect cases. The experts will usually specialize in a specific area of construction, such as plumbing. The expert will explore the alleged defect and provide insights to the court on whether they are valid. If the defect is valid, the expert will also share recommendations on how to fix the problem. 

5. Responsibility for Construction Defects

The general contractor or developer typically absorbs the responsibility for defects. If subcontractors were used, they still worked for the general contractor meaning the liability remains with the GC. 

To protect yourself and your business, it is important to have an existing relationship with an attorney experienced in construction defect defense. Aldrich Legal Services has been in operation for more than 21 years. Our legal experts will help you explore your options to protect your rights.

Give the legal team at Aldrich Legal Services a call today at (734) 404-3000 to discuss your situation. 

FAMILY LAW 83: A trial court can terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child.

A trial court has discretion to terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child when the conditions of MCL 710.51(6) are met. MCL 710.51(6)(b) requires the petitioner to establish that the other parent had the ability to visit, contact, or communicate with the children, and substantially failed or neglected to do so for a period of two years.

PROBATE 53: The trust agreement included an Incontestability Provision.

A settlor’s intent is to be carried out as nearly as possible. Generally, in terrorem clauses are valid and enforceable. However, a provision in a trust that purports to penalize an interested person for contesting the trust or instituting another proceeding relating to the trust shall not be given effect if probable cause exists for instituting a proceeding contesting the trust or another proceeding relating to the trust.

FAMILY LAW 82: Court stated it would terminate the personal protection order (PPO) after the parties present documentation of the initiation of the divorce proceedings.

However, the trial court concluded that these matters should, in fact, be in the province and the jurisdiction of the Family Division and in that respect, having issued a personal protection order, the Court stated it would terminate the personal protection order after the parties present documentation of the initiation of the divorce proceedings.

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For joint custody to work, parents must be able to agree with each other on basic issues in child rearing including health care, religion, education, day to day decision making and discipline and they must be willing to cooperate with each other in joint decision making. If two equally capable parents are unable to cooperate and to agree generally concerning important decisions affecting the welfare of their children, the court has no alternative but to determine which parent shall have sole custody of the children.

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