How do I start a construction defect lawsuit?

Construction projects in Florida are often complicated, and problems can occasionally occur. No one wants to engage in a lawsuit to rectify problems with property development or maintenance, but a few basic concepts about construction defects should be understood before papers are filed. An attorney may help owners and contractors figure out how to proceed legally.

  • What is an “action” against the believed cause of a construction defect?

Any movement against a defendant in a civil court of law or arbitration is an action, as long as it seeks damages for loss or poorly executed work. Any outside action, such as a personal injury suit resulting from this work, is separate from a construction lawsuit.

  • Who can be sued for construction defects?

Contractors, design professionals and suppliers are generally liable under Florida law for construction defects caused by their services or materials. These people or companies must be legally engaged in contracted work for a suit to be brought against them.

  • What constitutes a “construction defect?”

Florida state law defines a construction defect as a deficiency in or as a result of the design, planning, execution or repair of a construction project. This could be the result of poor material, code violations, design failure or poor workmanship.

  • How do I “serve” a defendant with a construction defect lawsuit?

Florida requires plaintiffs in construction defect cases to deliver a notification of the suit to the defendant or the defendant’s last known address by a certified service of the United States Postal Service. A courier who provides written evidence of delivery is generally acceptable as well.

Source: Florida State Legislature, “Construction Defects,” accessed Dec. 05, 2017

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