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Judge dismisses charges against contractor

The construction industry is one wrought with many challenges at times. Florida construction businesses must be ever vigilant about safety procedures, guidelines and laws when work is taking place. Similarly, they must pay special attention to contract verbiage and work standards in an effort to avoid unnecessary construction litigation.

Some situations can leave a contractor the defendant in a lawsuit pertaining to a construction project despite best efforts. A contractor in Florida has been involved in such a situation after a client initiated legal proceedings against his insurance company. The contractor built a house for his client who later made claims regarding leaks and other problems. The plaintiff in the case chose to represent herself rather than utilize an attorney when her trial date arrived although reports indicate she had multiple witnesses, including at least one who was paid for testimony and participation in the case.

Despite an initial award for the full amount paid to the contractor for the building of the home in the plaintiff’s favor, a Circuit Court judge reduced that damage award to the cost of building a balcony on the second floor. In addition to reducing the award from $168,000 to $16,000 the judge dismissed multiple charges of negligence against the builder. The only charge that was remaining was one for a breach of contract. It is not known if any subcontractors were involved in this project.

Contractors and construction company owners should always be aware of how to guard against allegations of defects in their work. Talking to an attorney can be very helpful when these situations arise.

Source: The Tampa Tribune, “Jury backs owner of botched home, but judge disagrees,” Mike Salinero, December 29, 2014

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