Construction defects are increasingly making their way into the courts. This is why it is important for contractors to be cognizant of the potential for negligence or defective work. Should you find yourself facing a construction defect claim, there are several defenses that can be used to refute the claim. Our experienced Jacksonville construction attorneys have come up with a list of common defenses that have proven to be beneficial to Florida contractors.
Defense 1: Spoliation of Evidence
Some owners have terminated contractors and excluded them from jobsites while hiring a new contractor to make the repair on the alleged defect. Owners must provide contractors with the opportunity to document and analyze any alleged defective work before attempting to remedy the defect in other ways. In this situation, the contractor’s recourse is spoliation of evidence. Spoliation of evidence simply means that a contractor can assert that the owner failed to allow the contractor to observe and document repair work performed by the new contractor thereby destroying the evidence of the alleged defect.
Defense 2: Lack of Causation
Sometimes a contractor’s defense for alleged defective work is a lack of causation. Never to excuse an occurrence of defective work, there are, however, times when one act is unrelated to another. For example, a window installer can be held liable for installing poor window materials has led to leaking which creates a mold problem. On the other hand, if the leak and mold problem were unrelated to the faulty windows they should not be held liable. This is why a strong contract is necessary to ensure you are not held liable for defects that are not directly related to the work you have performed.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.