When it comes to construction projects, legal disputes are unfortunately very common. Since there are so many different contracts, businesses, and individuals involved in a typical construction project, a lot can go awry.
CONSTRUCTION DEFECTS AND DELAYS
Construction defects can affect the sales prospects and performance of a property. More often than not, construction defects are hidden and not discovered by our clients until several years after the work was performed. For example, defects in a roof may not become apparent until after a slow leak has had sufficient time to works its way into the interior of the building, only then causing visible water damage.
Other common types of construction defects include improperly applied stucco, leaky windows and doors, negatively sloped balconies that cause water to pool, building code violations, and other structural deficiencies. Think of all the things that can go wrong in building and construction. Now you know why having a good Construction Litigation Lawyer on your team is so important. If you don’t, you could be walking into a huge mess.
Construction delays can be more complex, because many contracts contain language absolving the contractors of responsibility for delays. It is important to note, however, that such clauses are void in the event that the delay is the result of deliberate fraud or bad faith.
Negligence can be committed by almost anyone involved in the construction process, including design professionals, architects, and engineers. When you sign a contract with someone, it is their obligation to deliver the goods or services in that contract as specified.
Any professional who does not deliver on the contracted promises can be held accountable for his or her actions. Here are some of the common grievances that can prompt legal action:
- Building or designing a property with serious problems, such as plumbing issues or roofing defects
- Compelling you to sign a contract or agreement that leaves out information that could have impacted your decision to agree
- Failure to provide adequate supervision in a building project, resulting in structural defects, delays or other otherwise preventable issues that have financial repercussions
- Taking far longer than specified to finish a project, as a result of a deliberate scheme to collect more earnings
- Failure to understand or comply with laws related to construction practices, such as building codes
- Building properties in violation of environmental standards, or in such a way that causes unreasonable environmental or health concerns
Negligence claims often require experts in the relevant field to provide testimony. Expert testimony can help establish the legal standards involved so that any deviation from those standards can be made transparent. In the event that your case goes to trial, the jury has to be convinced that the actions for which you are suing were outside of the bounds of the law and any reasonable professional standards. We’ve previously written about construction liens, construction cases here.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
A statute of limitations applies to most types of lawsuits. This is the period of time in which the lawsuit must be filed after the initial offense. A construction defect lawsuit must be filed within four years of whichever occurs most recently:
- The date of actual possession by the owner
- The date of the issuance of a certificate of occupancy
- The date of abandonment of construction if not completed
- The date of completion or termination of the contract between the professional engineer, registered architect or licensed contractors and his or her employer
If, however, a construction lawsuit involves a latent (hidden) defect, the statute of limitations runs from the time the defect is discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence. In no event can a construction defect claim be filed more than 10 years after the latest of these dates.
Construction litigation can take time to resolve, so it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Waiting too long may cause you to miss your window to seek justice and recover your losses.
JUNK BOND INVESTMENTS
“Junk” bonds are non-investment grade bonds that offer higher yields to offset a higher default risk.
Investors may be looking for stronger returns with investment grade bonds recently producing low yields. Junk bonds’ devaluation risk, however, makes them unsuitable for the average investor.
When investors consider purchasing junk bonds through a broker, the broker must ensure that the bond meets the client’s investment goals and risk threshold. The broker must also adequately research the bond in order to present the investor with a complete benefit and risk assessment, and not misrepresent or omit material facts about the bond.
If you were advised to invest in a junk bond that lost money—and your broker did not meet their responsibilities—you may be able to file a claim for investment losses.
Bonds are essentially a loan between an investor and the bond issuer. Up until the bond maturity date, the issuer pays interest to the investor. When a bond reaches its maturity date, the issuer repays the investor the bond’s principal.
Bond ratings describe the creditworthiness of the issuer. The higher the bond rating, the lower the chance that the issuer will default. If an issuer defaults, the bond’s value decreases, and investors lose money.
Investors typically pay a higher price for higher-rated bonds, but quality bonds have a low default risk. Lower-rated bonds, in comparison, usually offer a higher yield as compensation for a higher default risk.
Most bonds are rated by at least one of the major ratings agencies, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. The two agencies’ ratings can differ somewhat.
The gold standard for investment bonds is U.S. government bonds, because the federal government can print money to pay its debts. U.S. agencies, state and local agencies, and corporations also issue bonds of varying quality.
Numerous factors, including interest rates and the issuer’s debt load, go into determining bond ratings. Since these factors are continually in flux as market conditions change, bond ratings, prices, and yields can vary over time.
BONDS ARE NOT SUITABLE FOR ALL INVESTORS
Bonds can help diversify your portfolio, but their benefits must be evaluated alongside their risks.
Junk bonds are particularly risky investments and in most cases are only appropriate for sophisticated investors with a high risk tolerance.
Bonds issued by lower-rated companies are unsuitable for risk-averse investors. But some brokers recommend junk bonds to investors who do not have the ability or desire to withstand risk.
An investor who is willing to take a chance on junk bonds should receive a full evaluation of the bond’s risks and other characteristics from their financial adviser. Advisers who misrepresent or omit material facts about a bond that ends up causing investor losses may be legally responsible for those losses.
Free Consultation with Construction Litigation Lawyer
When you have a construction litigation case, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506