This article concludes our three-part series on the defenses contractors can use to handle a construction defect claim. At this point, we hope that we’ve provided greater insight into the ways contractors can overcome defect disputes. Part 1 and part 2 are also great resources to refer back to. Should you need further assistance, we encourage you to speak with a knowledgeable Orlando construction attorney.
Defense 5: The Doctrine of Betterment
Contractors may find that an owner disputing a faulty design or construction defect may be demanding additional elements such as monetary damages to fix the problem. The Betterment Doctrine can be used as a defense if a contractor feels the owner is seeking more award than the defect warrants. Under Florida law, the owner is only entitled to the reasonable costs of repairing the structure back to its original condition. The owner is discouraged from seeking the claim as an opportunity to get above and beyond the quality of construction as agreed upon in the original contract.
Defense 6: Exculpatory Provision
A strong contract can help contractors prevent unnecessary liabilities. When there are limitations to liabilities, contractors will avoid losses beyond the cost of repair. We encourage you to contact an Orlando construction lawyer if you would like to inquire about an exculpatory clause for your contracts. An exculpatory clause relieves a contractor from liability resulting from negligent work in excess of any repair costs. Exculpatory language must be clear and does not have to expressly state the terms “negligence” or “negligence acts” to be valid.
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.