A construction defect is a defect in the design, construction, or manufacturing of a building or its components that causes the structure to fail to perform its intended purpose or conform to applicable building codes or construction standards. These defects can occur in new construction or remodeling and are caused by a failure to meet workmanship standards, faulty design, violation of building codes, or use of defective materials.
Construction defects can involve various components of a residential building, including windows, stucco, drywall, concrete, balconies or decks, showers, and mechanical systems. These defects can devalue a homeowner’s property, increase maintenance costs, render the home or parts of the home uninhabitable. In the worst case, construction defects can cause health or safety concerns if not timely and properly repaired.
One example of construction defects causing injury to homeowners can be seen in a recently filed class action lawsuit filed on behalf of two Miami condominium associations against the manufacturers and distributors of defective fire sprinkler systems. The lawsuit, filed in Federal court in Miami, also alleges a national cover up of serious safety issue in multi-unit condominiums in Florida and across the country.
In that case, the Plaintiffs contend that sprinkler systems installed in countless condominium buildings in Florida and across the country were designed and built using a combination of incompatible CPVC and metal pipes. The resin in the CPVC pipes breaks down when exposed to many commonly used construction materials, including the anticorrosion chemicals contained in the metal pipes joined to the CPVC pipes in the same system. The breakdown of the CPVC pipes causes cracks, leaks and the depressurization of the entire sprinkler system. The depressurization renders the fire sprinkler system inoperable and useless in the event of a fire, thus creating a dangerous and unacceptable risk for loss of life, injuries, and property damage.
The class action complaint also alleges that the sprinkler system’s manufacturer was aware but failed to disclose the potential deficiencies as well as tests confirming the breakdown of CPVC pipe when exposed to incompatible construction materials. As a result of this defect the owners of each effected condominium building may have to spend millions of dollars to repair their fire sprinkler system, forcing the homeowners to move out of their homes while the repairs are being made.
Lawyers at Beasley Allen are currently investigating construction defect claims on behalf of homeowners in large, multi-unit condominium or similar developments. If you would like more information or have questions, you can contact Chris Boutwell or Grant Cofer, lawyers in our firm’s Toxic Torts Section at 800-898-2034 or by email at Chris.Boutwell@beasleyallen.com or Grant.Cofer@beasleyallen.com.
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