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Liability For Construction Defects Linked To Improper Materials


Construction defects can range from something needing a minor cosmetic fix to a major issue that renders the project unusable. There are also multiple sources of problems under Florida’s definition of a construction defect, including deficiencies related to the design specifications, construction performance, planning, and the subsurface the project is to be constructed upon. One key area that can lead to significant delays and damage is improper or defective materials used for the construction project.

Based upon their involvement, various parties could be responsible for the increased costs and delays from construction defects related to flawed materials. You may be in the position to seek repair, damages, and other remedies, but you could be forced to defend these allegations and your own interests. It is wise to consult with a Florida defective construction attorney to protect your rights, and some information about liability for defective materials is also useful.

Liability for Improper Materials in Construction Projects: The supplies used in a construction project could be considered improper for different reasons, and a common problem is the materials themselves are defective. The manufacturer may be accountable under the theory of products liability for selling an item that contains design, manufacturing, or labeling errors.

However, liability for improper materials may also arise in other contexts. For instance:

  • When the owner or developer insists on using certain materials, they cannot hold contractors liable for defects or failures.
  • An architect or engineer might designate materials in the project plans and specifications. These individuals could be liable for making a choice that does not meet professional standards, even if the materials themselves are suitable for other purposes.
  • A contractor who installs defective materials may be held accountable, but subcontractors may or may not be liable depending on their involvement with decision making. 

Chapter 558 Notice: Florida’s construction defects statute includes a process that aims to resolve disputes about improper materials without going to court. It starts when the property owner alleging defective construction sends a notice to other parties, including contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers. The notice must be sent at least 60 days prior to suing in court, and it must describe how the materials are defective or improper.

Upon receiving a Chapter 558 notice, the contractor:

  • Should forward it to lower tier subcontractors that may be responsible for the defect;
  • Take advantage of the opportunity to inspect the alleged defect within 30 days;
  • Respond to the owner’s Chapter 558 notice within 45 days after receipt, which may include an offer to repair or settle the dispute. The contractor may also contest the defect and refuse to remedy it.

Our South Florida Construction Defects Lawyers Will Advise You

It is helpful to understand how liability works when defective construction is the result of flawed materials, but you will need skilled legal services for a real-life case. For more information on how we can help, please contact Linkhorst Law Firm, P.A. Individuals in Palm Beach County can reach our offices by calling 561-626-8880 or visiting our website. We are happy to set up a consultation with an experienced Florida construction law attorney.

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