3 possible defenses to construction defect claims

It is not unusual for disputes and issues to arise during or upon completion of a construction project, particularly when it is an extensive project. One such issue involves alleged construction defects.

Construction defect claims typically involve work or products that are defective and lead to problems with a building like leaks, structural failures and dry rot. These claims are serious and they can have costly results, but there are numerous defenses to allegations of construction defects, including the three we discuss in this post.

Spearin doctrine defense

Broadly speaking, this doctrine can protect contractors from liability in cases where there are defects in an owner's specific design. However, there are nuances to the Spearin doctrine as a defense, including whether the specifications hinge on performance or design. As such, it is important to discuss with an attorney the legal standards of this defense.

Lack of a defect

In some cases, there may be no defect. Problems like leaks or cracks in the foundation could be the result of something other than a defect. Because of this, every alleged defect should be closely examined to determine whether a problem stems from a defect or something else.

Approval from owner

If an owner approves certain materials or designs even though they could result in substandard condition of a property, then other parties may not be liable. However, this typically requires written approval, so it is crucial to have owners sign off on all work.

These are just a few of the defenses that contractors and other parties might pursue if they are faced with construction defect claims. To learn more about them and any others that may be relevant in a specific case, you would be wise to discuss the details of that case with an experienced attorney.

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