You own a beautiful home that needed a new roof. You didn’t know that your “reputable contractor” borrowed a worker from a friend out of state. The worker falls off your roof because your contractor did not use appropriate safety gear. Chances are that you will be sued.
Whether large or small, commercial or residential, construction can be a process with significant risks of injury to a person or to property. Everyone involved — including the property owner, the contractor, the subcontractor, and the workers — can be exposed to risks that wind up in court in a civil suit for significant damages. How do you protect yourself? The answer is by retaining an attorney with significant construction law experience. Construction litigation is a particular type of civil lawsuit that is handled best by an attorney with significant, relevant experience. To protect yourself, you need an attorney with construction litigation experience — more than run-of-the-mill experience in contracts, personal injury, and/or insurance.
For a property owner, an attorney is needed who can review the contractor agreement to ensure that the language protects the owner (from losses including attorney’s fees). The objective also is to have insurance other than your homeowner’s policy or, for larger commercial projects, general liability insurance. Once litigation is commenced, it is essential to join the right parties as defendants, and to demand and thoughtfully analyze not only the incident but also the underlying insurance agreements. Your have to not only defend the case but also work to ensure that ultimate liability is covered by the appropriate insurance policy.
You are a commercial property developer constructing 150 unit condominium development. Your nationally-known construction company made mistakes during the process, resulting in water infiltration and mold. Now you are facing a condo association lawsuit seeking millions in damages.
Complex litigation like multi-party construction defect cases are challenging to litigate successfully. Your profit margin on a project can evaporate, and your reputation as a builder can be tarnished irreparably. Winning is important, but what ultimately constitutes a win? Is it having someone else’s insurance pay for the property damage and make relevant repairs? Is it collecting your attorney’s fees and litigation costs so that the development project remains profitable? Is it establishing that your company did not violate relevant construction codes, so that your company avoids penalty sanctions, fines, or possible criminal exposure?
Complex construction defect litigation has more moving parts than typical litigation, and you need an attorney comfortable with keeping all aspects of the litigation moving in your favor.
Contact us. We can evaluate your case and let you know how best to proceed.
Mr. Deininger has more than a decade of complex litigation experience in construction defects, accidents, and disputes. His former clients include a billion-dollar construction company that routinely faced multiple lawsuits arising from construction accidents that injured workers — including serious injuries involving claims in excess of $10,000,000. He also has represented property owners, including a couple from New Jersey who had a worker fall from a defective scaffolding resulting in serious personal injury, and an insurance fraud claim.