Construction defects are heavily litigated areas of law. Constructing a building is complicated and a handful of mistakes can bring the entire habitability or integrity of the building down. Construction defects are thus a heavily contested area of the law determining (1) if there is a defect and (2) who is responsible for it. This posts will go over the legal theories that allow plaintiffs to recover for construction defect matters. This post will discuss the merits of a negligence claim in a construction defect suit.
Negligence is the bread and butter of legal liability. The law imposes a duty to behave in a reasonable manner toward other people. As applied in the construction defect context, it imposes an obligation on the developer, general contractor, and subcontractors to exercise a reasonable degree of skill, care, and knowledge that is ordinarily used by professional builders. This duty is expanded to include anyone who can reasonably foreseeably be injured by the defect. Thus, it includes subsequent purchasers. Therefore, in theory, you could have a construction defect suit brought by the fifth owner of a building, assuming the defect was present during initial construction and did not arise later.
If you are involved in a construction dispute suit, you may want to contact a lawyer for advice. As you can see, there are several legal theories which allow plaintiffs to recover for damages associated with construction defects. Each of these theories has their pros and cons. Which one or ones you utilize will depend on the circumstances of your case. You probably will need the assistance of an attorney to parse the finer points on how these legal theories are applied in your state to your case. You don't need to figure this out on your own; an attorney can assist you.