Construction defect may exist in a single family home, a condominium, or a large apartment complex. In the context of a single family home, construction defect reduces the value of the home. In the context of a condominium or apartment complex, often renters may be injured because of the defect. Some defects are obvious such as water seepage, but many are less obvious and do not become apparent until years after the building was built. A construction defect can arise from a variety of factors, such as poor workmanship or the use of inferior materials. Many arise from a combination of factors, including:
The most common types of defects involved in litigation include:
The responsible parties typically are general contractors, developers, and the builders of residential structures even if the work was performed by subcontractors or if the defective materials used in construction were manufactured by others. Architects, designers and other involved parties may also be defendants in litigation.
Some defects are obvious and are called “patent.” Other defects are hidden or do not become apparent until years after the home was built. These defects are called “latent.” A successful construction defect litigation claim relies on the testimony of experts who specialize in specific areas of construction. The experts investigate the defect, evaluate the cause and make recommendations for how to remedy the defects.
If you win, you may recover the cost of repairs and the decline in the value of your home. Additionally, other recoverable damages might include the loss of the use of property during the repair, the cost of temporary housing, court costs, and in some instances the attorney’s fees if provided for in the contract or by your state’s laws. Of course, any personal injuries resulting from the defect may also be recovered. In some instances punitive damages may be assessed against the defendants if the court finds their behavior to be reckless and intentional.
Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos has extensive experience in construction defect litigation. If you believe there is construction defect at your home, contact our experienced Los Angeles construction defect attorneys.