Defective construction work that is a result of faulty workmanship, inadequate design, or poor materials is a frequent cause of legal disputes. Unless contractors arm themselves with knowledge, they will be on the losing side of a construction defect claim. This article will continue our list of defenses contractors can use to refute a construction defect claim.
Defense 3: Spearin Doctrine
Many owners will complain about the quality of work when the defect can really be attributed to a defect in the owner’s plans and specifications. Contractors build in accordance with the design furnished to them and should not be held liable for the results. Unfortunately, these types of disputes can be minimized when there is good control of project standards. The Spearin Doctrine will ensure that a contractor is not held liable for loss, injury, or damages resulting from defects. Contractors can protect themselves by photographing job progress and making sure they are not waiving their Spearin Doctrine rights within their contracts. As always, consult with a Jacksonville construction attorney for further guidance.
Defense 4: Material Breach
Owners are obligated to pay the contractor according to the contract terms and conditions as a condition of seeking a claim against the contractor. A contractor that has not received payment for work performed on a project may seek recourse in spite of an alleged defect. For example, if an owner delays payments early on in a project leaving a substantial amount of work incomplete, the contractor can seek a material breach to discharge his duty to repair defects. However, contractors must understand that a breach goes both ways. An owner may assert that his failure to pay is in direct relation to the contractor’s failure to perform. If you need further assistance on this type of dispute, please consult with a Jacksonville construction lawyer.
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.