Construction & Design Defects And Chapter 558 Litigation

Newly constructed properties can be just as susceptible to problems as older properties. Errors or inadequacies in the work performed can lead to various types of construction defects, impacting both individual homeowners and condominium owners as well as common areas.

At Haber Slade, a cornerstone area of our construction law practice consists of representing homeowners, condominium owners and homeowners associations pursuing construction defect claims. Our clients include numerous associations across South Florida.

Backed by decades of combined experience, our legal team is intimately familiar with the construction and real estate industries. Our attorneys are familiar with the challenges that impact construction defect claims.

Navigating Procedural Intricacies

Florida's construction defect statute, commonly known as Chapter 558, imposes strict procedural requirements for certain types of claims. For example, the claimant must generally submit a notice of claim and offer the contractor an opportunity to remedy the defect.

Our attorneys are well-versed in the intricacies of Chapter 558. We advise clients on its applicability, leveraging a meticulous attention to detail in adhering to its requirements or raising appropriate defenses.

Defect Claims Involving Water Intrusion And Other Deficiencies

Water intrusion is among the most prevalent — and damaging — types of construction defects. Improperly constructed walls, windows, roofs and sloping grades can lead to dampness, toxic mold infestation and other forms of water intrusion. Over the long term, water damage can pose significant challenges to individual owners and the community as a whole.

Other types of construction defects include:

  • Design errors
  • Inadequate ventilation
  • Features that do not adhere to specifications
  • Defective materials or inferior substitutions
  • Structural slab weaknesses
  • Defective stucco, windows and curtain wall issues
  • Waterproofing and roofing
  • Garage waterproofing and expansion joint issues
  • HVAC problems
  • Mechanical, electrical and plumbing ("MEP") defects and problems
  • Fire code deficiencies

We represent associations in any type of construction defect or turnover dispute claim. We have tremendous experience in navigating the coverage defenses of the insurance carriers whose policies provide the various defense parties (developer, contractors, subcontractors, manufacturers and design professionals) with a defense, but do not wish to pay a claim due to various policy coverage defenses.

Exploring All Possible Avenues For Recovery

Various parties may be potentially liable for construction defects. In addition to the developer, the contractors, subcontractors or materials suppliers may be responsible. Professional negligence on the part of the architect, engineers or design professionals may have also contributed. A thorough investigation before and during the discovery phase of litigation is often necessary to determine which parties' negligence contributed to the defect.

Our firm takes a diligent approach to each case. We explore all available avenues for recovery to advance clients' interests. One of our areas of expertise is to analyze the potential recovery as against insurance policies, payment and/or performance bonds, Subguard policies, comprehensive general liability policies, general liability umbrella policies, and owner controlled insurance policies ("OCIP Policies"). Many times the key to a case is not whether there is a defect or deficiency, but from whom you can recover/collect, under what policies of insurance and for which covered items.

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For experienced legal guidance in construction defect litigation, contact us at 305.379.2400. Our Miami-based lawyers handle developer disputes and construction defect claims throughout South Florida.