As a contractor, it’s important to be diligent when taking any action related to your company and your active (and past) projects. This is because lawsuits in the construction industry are extremely common, and even the most cautious contractors can be targeted. Understanding who can file a lawsuit against you, why they would do so, and how to deal with it can be daunting. Fortunately, a Tallahassee construction lawyer from Cotney Construction Law can assist you with all of your legal needs, including those that arise out of disputes related to contract review, construction bonds, liens, and more.
Why Do Contractors Get Sued?
Contractors can be sued for many reasons. In this two-part series, we will outline the most common reasons why this happens and discuss strategies for fighting back against lawsuits.
Typically, when a contractor is sued it’s a result of the contractor’s professional shortcomings, but there are many cases where subcontractors, materials suppliers, and owners try to weaponize the law against contractors to increase wages or minimize costs.
You have to be cognizant of these attempts to undermine your project, as failing to deal with them can lead to setbacks, disputes, and a tarnished reputation. This is part of the reason why we recommend partnering with our Tallahassee construction lawyers. However, if you do in fact fail to meet the obligations established in your contract, you could be hit with a lawsuit, and rightfully so. Common claims against contractors include:
- Defective construction work
- Breach of contract
We will discuss these three types of claim in part one and part two of this article.
Defective Construction Work
Construction defects tend to arise at the least opportune times. Defects can be the result of lackluster materials, last-minute product recalls, poor design planning, or an assortment of other reasons. Generally, the law requires the owner to afford the contractor the opportunity to address and fix any defects before they can legally put forth a claim. The warranties in your contract will likely dictate the actions that can be taken against you if a defect is discovered. You’re responsible for meeting a strict quality standard when building, especially when dealing with public construction projects governed by rigorous federal standards. Another important consideration regarding warranties involves “reasonable workmanship.” Essentially, as a contractor, you are accountable for making a suitable effort to complete your project without cutting corners. Contractors who fail to do so can be targeted by a lawsuit from an owner.
To learn more about lawsuits against contractors, specifically those related to breach of contract and fraud, read part two.
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.