Construction projects are complex and involve multiple parties. They also deal with significant costs, materials, and personnel. You need a construction attorney who understands the construction industry when things go wrong. Construction defects, delays, and much more can be costly and harm your business.
When this happens, you deserve quality representation from the construction litigation attorneys at Dunn Sheehan LLP. Let us analyze your case, navigate the nuances of Texas lien laws, and help you take legal action. We know the construction litigation process and how to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Types of Construction Lawsuits
Construction litigation cases are civil lawsuits. This means the plaintiff seeks financial compensation from the defendant in most cases. In some, they may seek specific performance of what was agreed upon, such as the completion of a certain project. In others, they may seek foreclosure for labor unpaid labor and materials. No matter the type of construction lawsuit, a knowledgeable construction litigation attorney knows how to help.
Construction Defect Claims
Construction defect claims occur when the quality of the work is subpar. Quality work is extremely important and is what you pay for in a construction company. When your contractor or subcontractor fails to meet the proper standards, they should be held financially responsible for their negligence and poor workmanship.
There are reasons a construction defect claim may be appropriate. Some common examples include, but are not limited to:
- Improperly poured concrete;
- Defective design of a building or component of the project;
- Use of unskilled labor in the construction project;
- Incorrect materials were used in the construction;
- The building or structure is dangerous;
- The construction project remains unfinished or is improperly finished;
- Drywall finishing mistakes; and
- Electrical or plumbing problems.
These are just a few of countless defects that may have affected you. Hiring a construction litigation attorney and possibly filing a lawsuit may help you recover compensation for these defects.
Construction Delay Claims
Construction delays can be incredibly stressful and costly. When you work with general contractors, you set a timeline and expect them to follow it. At times, the schedule must be delayed because of something out of everyone's control, such as extremely poor weather. However, delays often occur because of the construction company's procrastination, negligence, or other issues.
Many construction contracts set forth specific time frames for different parts of the project. These agreements include penalties for late construction. Some may require construction litigation to help recoup your losses caused by the delay.
Several different parties may be responsible for the construction delay, such as:
- The general contractor;
- Subcontractors on the project;
- Companies who are providing the raw materials; and
- Unrelated third parties who interfere with the construction.
Breach of Contract Claims
Most construction projects are subject to a written contract. This contract sets out the terms of the agreement and what the parties expect from one another. A contract is a legally binding promise to the other party to perform what has been promised. If a party fails to meet those obligations, that party is in breach of the contract.
A breach of contract claim seeks financial compensation for the damages caused by these breaches. Breach of contract claims deals with quality of work and/or delay issues like those described above. Other issues often include:
- Nonpayment of subcontractors, general contractors, or other parties;
- Failure to comply with design schematics or expectations;
- Incorporation of work order changes; and
- Excessive price increases on the project.
Construction Lien Foreclosure Actions
A construction lien, often known as a mechanic's lien, is filed when one party-often the owner of the general contractor-fail to make a payment for the work of a contractor or subcontractor. A lawsuit is often required to foreclose on the lien. An experienced attorney knows how to file an appropriate construction lien on your behalf.
A lien foreclosure seeks the sale of the property to satisfy the property owner's debt. A contractor must follow specific requirements to enforce this kind of lien. This is a powerful tool that should be used wisely. However, these cases are difficult because there is often a dispute over what amount is really owed.
Construction Lien Exaggeration Claims
Some contractors exaggerate how much they are owed when they file a construction lien. This is fraudulent and illegal.
However, if you believe an exaggerated lien was filed, you can file a fraudulent lien claim against the company. If the claim is found to be exaggerated, the defendant may be responsible for the monetary damages you suffered as a result.
The Litigation Process and Resolutions
The construction litigation process is more than just filing a lawsuit. Some cases may be resolved with a letter of intent to sue. This is a warning that you intend to go to court if the matter cannot be resolved. A letter from your attorney often goes a long way in getting you what you expect.
When it cannot be settled out of court, a lawsuit can be filed on your behalf. You will work with a dedicated construction attorney to file your claim with a document called a petition. This sets out the basic facts of the case and your allegations. After this, the discovery process begins where the parties exchange relevant information, learn about what occurred in the transaction, and prepare for trial.
Throughout the case, the parties may negotiate an agreed settlement. This is a contract to pay a certain amount for the dismissal of the lawsuit. Other potential resolutions include:
- Mediation or arbitration to decide the case;
- A trial by a judge or jury; and
- An award of compensation.
Reach Out to a Construction Litigator Today
Litigation in construction may be complex but you don't have to do it alone. The experienced team at Dunn Sheehan LLP has years of experience needed to fight for the compensation you deserve. We know how to battle with construction companies, insurers, owners, contractors, and subcontractors to get you what you are owed.
Reach out to our construction litigators today for help with your case. Contact us for a consultation.