In many of our cases, we represent owners of numerous single-family, detached residences in the same development. We often hear the following questions regarding construction defect litigation on behalf of owners of single-family residences:
Who is legally responsible for defective construction?
Depending on the facts, the developer, the general contractor, the design professionals and engineers, relevant subcontractors and material suppliers can all be liable – and usually they are insured.
I bought my home a few years ago. Can I still pursue legal remedies now?
Most likely yes. There are time limits specified in the law that govern construction defect litigation. You must act within these time limits (known as Statutes of Limitations), which vary by State depending on the type and age of the structure, type of defect, and a variety of other factors.
I did not buy my home from the builder; can I still file a construction defect claim?
Even though you didn’t buy your home directly from the builder, as long as you discover and file the lawsuit within the time limits specified by law, you still have rights under various legal claims.
What kind of damages can I recover?
Generally you are entitled to the projected cost of repair or replacement, or the amount of the reduction in value of the home due to the defects, whichever is less. However, that “whichever is less” rule is subject to a frequently applicable exception called “personal use”, resulting in recovery of the full cost of repair or replacement. Other potentially recoverable damages include the cost of investigation, relocation and storage, and other costs recoverable by contract or statute. Punitive damages are also available in cases in which fraudulent misrepresentation and/or fraudulent concealment are found.
During the construction defect litigation, do we have to move out of our home?
No. Generally inspections and any testing can take place while the residence is occupied.
How much does construction defect litigation cost, and how do you pay for it?
There are a variety of ways to structure the fee arrangement, varying from hourly fees plus costs to a contingent fee agreement. In a contingent fee agreement, you do not pay any legal fees unless, and until, there is a recovery. Other costs of the litigation are typically advanced by the law firm and recovered from proceeds of the case.