Defective Construction Claims in Miami, FL
Buying your home is probably the biggest financial investment you will ever make. The excitement you feel when entering a new house to spend your first night there is one of life’s true joys. But for some new homeowners, construction defects become the source of frustration, anxiety, and deep disappointment. Victims of defective construction design or a builder’s substandard workmanship need expert legal help from experienced attorneys who practice construction defect law.
Construction defects in condo towers can easily cost condo associations millions of dollars to remediate. Our law firm in Miami will handle the largest defective construction claims from homeowners’ associations (HOA) anywhere in Florida.
Hannon Legal Group is nationally recognized for successfully recovering millions of dollars in damages for our clients across the state of Florida. In our construction defect law practice, we aggressively enforce the rights of residential and commercial property owners who suffered unexpected property damages and high repair costs for the defective construction of their homes or commercial buildings.
Florida law provides a strong legal remedy to those who are unfairly forced to incur huge expenses to restore or rebuild property construction defects. Hannon Legal Group skillfully obtains your recovery of full compensation from the party responsible for the construction or maintenance defect.
As construction defect attorneys, our legal practice has extensive experience holding property owners, builders, designers, architects, material suppliers, and manufacturers accountable for the financial loss suffered from the substandard performance of their respective roles in the construction process.
What is a Construction Defect?
Here in Florida, the legal definition of a construction defect includes, “a deficiency in, or a deficiency arising out of the design, specifications, surveying, planning, supervision, observation of construction, or construction, repair, alteration, or remodeling of real property resulting from [any of the following]:
- any defective material, products, or components used in the construction or remodeling of the property.
- any violation of the applicable codes in effect at the time of construction or remodeling which gives rise to a cause of action,
- any failure of the design of real property to meet the applicable professional standards of care at the time of governmental approval, or,
- any failure to construct or remodel real property in accordance with accepted trade standards for good and workmanlike construction at the time of construction.
Actionable construction defects are defects in the design or workmanship of a project, or in the materials and systems used on a construction project, where a failure of some component of that structure causes financial damages to the property.
What Are Some Common Florida Construction Defects?
Some of the common construction defects occurring here in Florida involve moisture management failures. The Florida State University Climate Center reports that Florida is one of the wettest states in the nation. The rain and humidity, especially in hurricane season, expose the deficient work and material of many developers and contractors:
- black mold on or behind the interior walls;
- sinking foundations, cracking foundations, and leaning walls from settlement issues; soil shifting, and erosion;
- unsound decks and roofs, sagging from premature deterioration and rot; and
- water intrusion, condensation, and moisture accumulation compromising structure integrity
Who Pays for Construction Defects? Liability Theories
Construction defects usually come to light years after a construction project is completed. Once the defect is discovered, recovering compensation under Florida law requires the damaged party to identify who is legally responsible for producing the defect. That process can involve invasive inspection and destructive testing that only add to the cost incurred. Was the defect the result of poor design or improper execution by the builder? Was the defect caused by a defective component that was properly installed but negligently manufactured?
Pinning down what caused the defect and which party is liable requires expert consultants and skilled construction defect lawyers.
Theories of liability:
- Product Liability
- Breach of Contract
- Breach of Implied Warranty of Habitability and Reasonable Workmanship
- Breach of Express Warranty
- Code Violation or Noncompliance
- Violation of the Unfair Trade Practices Act
Construction defect attorneys need to bring the correct claim against the appropriate defendants to ensure the property owner’s maximum compensation is recovered.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim? (Statute of Limitation and the Statute of Repose)
The deadline to file a construction defect lawsuit in Florida is four years from the time the defect is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. The expiration of the four years is easily calculated when a construction defect is obvious or open, like a handrail falling off a wall or a deck collapsing. These are patent defects, visible to the naked eye.
When a defect is not visible, it is called a latent defect. In cases involving latent construction defects, the four-year statute of limitation runs from the date the defect is finally discovered.
However, to protect potential defendants from an indefinite period of liability, there is a Florida statute of repose providing that no construction defect claim may be filed more than 10 years after the last to occur of several events specified in the Florida statute.
The practice of defective construction law is more complex than many other areas of the legal profession. Insurance companies defend these claims vigorously because the potential value of unfavorable verdicts is so high. In recent years, the Florida legislature has had to amend the statute of repose in construction defect claims multiple times because unanticipated legal arguments have prevailed in the courts.
Florida’s Pre Filing Notice Requirement:
Florida law also mandates that no construction defect lawsuit or arbitration demand may be filed until the aggrieved party notifies the potential defendant of the claimed defect at least 60 days or 120 days before filing their legal claim, depending on whether the claim involves a single owner or more than 20 claimants, as with large condominium development. This is to offer the responsible party an opportunity to correct or repair the defect. The construction defect law sets out a detailed schedule of time limits within which responses must be sent or remediation must be performed.
Are You a Victim of Defective Construction?
If you suffered construction defect-related property damage, or incurred financial losses because of deficient workmanship or material in the construction of a residential or commercial building, contact the Hannon Legal Group for a professional consultation with our construction defect claim attorneys.
Our law firm was recognized as one of the “Best Law Firms in America” by U.S. News & World Report and as a “Top Law Firm” in the South Florida Legal Guide.
Construction defects threaten enormous financial loss to Florida property owners, in neighborhood homes and metropolitan condominium buildings. When a designer, manufacturer, contractor, subcontractor, or supplier acts negligently or fails to perform up to the standard required by law or by the terms of your contract, only an expert construction law attorney with years of experience in this complex legal field will serve your interests fully.
What Are Examples of Defective Construction?
Construction defect law covers a wide range of possible circumstances and scenarios that can affect homes, commercial structures, walkways, and even marine vessels:
- failure to build in compliance with the design documents
- compromised structural integrity
- window and door openings out of square
- electrical wiring and components don’t comply with code or function improperly
- substandard plumbing installation, leaks, drainage backup, water damage,
- foundation cracks from an improper mix, pouring or drying
- poor drainage from improper foundation footing,
- improper weatherproofing, flashing, sealing,
- improper installation of flashing, gutters, and roofing
- the architectural plan fails to consider federal, state, or municipal building code
- plans call for insufficient grade or quantity of material components
- failure to provide for proper drainage and roofing design
- insufficient soil testing resulting in shifting, or soil shrinkage
- window leaks even with proper installation
- electrical component failure
- paint and stucco surface degrading
- sealant failure
Expert Construction Defect Law Firm
Defective construction law practice requires a deep understanding of complex statutory mandates and a daily study of constantly developing judicial decisions here in Florida and throughout the country. The most experienced construction defect attorneys also have the financial resources necessary to battle the insurance companies who are determined to resist just demands for full compensation.
For your free construction defect case evaluation, contact the Hannon Legal Group by calling (305) 358-3109 or filling out our contact form below.