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Understanding The Spearin Doctrine Specifications As A Defense For Defect Claims Part 1

As your construction attorneys in Jacksonville, we know that construction defect claims are a growing area in the construction industry and are an enormous liability for contractors. As contractors know, specifications are what points them in the direction of constructing a project, and we know that those specifications are what hold the answers to a good defense to a defective claim; thanks to the Spearin Doctrine. To effectively turn to a Spearin Doctrine defense, the specifications must be deciphered between “performance” or “design” specifications. In this two-part article we will go over the differences between these specifications, and how they determine the outcome of a defect claim. To view the second half of this article, please visit Part 2.

The Importance Of Knowing The Difference Between The Specifications

The Spearin Doctrine approach allocates responsibility for a construction defect according to whether or not the specifications are performance or design. A contractor can only call on the Spearin Doctrine if they constructed a project according to a design specification; which is why it’s crucial to understand the difference between the two. It’s also important to be able to tell the two specifications apart, because a contractor can assume a larger risk working on a project with a performance standard.

Performance Specifications

Performance specifications put forward a general standard that can be easily reached, and it’s the contractor’s job to use their skills to attain that standard, selecting the means, and taking responsibility for that selection. This results in the contractor having the sole responsibility of deciding the best way to reach the best results within a project, and the contractor guarantees that the system will operate in a specific way.

Design Specifications

On the opposite side of performance specifications, design specifications state exactly how the work should be done. These specifications give a complete description of what materials are to be used, and how the construction should be performed. This allows for no flexibility on the contractor’s part, and the contractor does not guarantee that the system will operate in a specific way.

To speak with one of our construction lawyers in Jacksonville, or for more information on our construction law services, please contact our office at 904.425.5030 or submit our contact request form to request a consultation.

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.

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