Helping Arizona Businesses Grow

Contractors are not always liable for building defects

Homeowners in Arizona and around the country usually seek compensation for construction defects by filing lawsuits against the contractor who performed the work, but this is not what happens in every situation. When problems emerge during construction or after a building project has been completed, the contractor is not generally responsible if it followed the terms of contract exactly. This kind of construction defect could be the fault of an architect, engineer or manufacturer.

Architects and engineers

Buildings sometimes fail even when the contractor who built them used quality materials and followed proper construction practices. Such a failure could be caused by an architect who designed a building that was fundamentally flawed or an engineer who made errors when calculating stresses and weight distributions. The contractor will generally not be legally responsible for these mistakes, but they could be sued along with a negligent architect or engineer if they should have known that the finished building would be compromised. When failing to notice obvious errors could lead to official sanctions, an attorney with experience in this area could mount a license defense for contractors.

Manufacturer liability

Sometimes a newly constructed building develops defects even though the design was sound and the work was performed professionally, in these situations, the problem is often caused by defective building products or materials. A homeowner who wishes to pursue civil remedies when this happens should file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the defective building materials. A contractor could also be held responsible if they knew or should have known that the materials they used were not fit for their intended purpose.

Contractor licenses

If you are a contractor and one of your clients files a complaint with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors, you could be fined or even lose your license. This could happen if your client accuses you of misrepresentation or fraud, abandoning a project, taking on a job that you were not qualified for or beginning work before all of the necessary permits were in place. Consumer complaints are often frivolous or unfounded, but they could cost you your livelihood if you do not mount an effective defense. This is why it would be wise for you to contact an attorney experienced in these matters whenever you receive a complaint.