Construction Defects

Remarkable Results In CD Litigation

We have litigated some of the largest construction defect cases in Colorado, representing parties on both sides of the courtroom, including owners, associations, general contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers. Taking advantage of our superior knowledge of engineering and construction law, we have developed and successfully advanced new legal theories that have been accepted by courts to the great benefit of our clients.

An Example Of Our Ability

In 2013, we obtained a $14.8 million settlement on behalf of Larimer County, Colorado, in one of the most complex engineering structural defect cases ever litigated. The issues in that case included everything from the ground up, including complex engineering mathematics of an experimental nature, geotechnical errors and omissions, insurance coverage disputes, complex metallurgical issues, defective design software and building code issues.

Every Type Of Structure And All Kinds Of Claims

We have handled a substantial number of cases involving defectively constructed residences, including water intrusion claims (defects in the building envelope and moisture barriers, defective water supply fittings and landscaping defects resulting in improper drainage), expansive soils claims and defective foundations.

We have also handled extremely technical geotechnical, geophysical and construction management errors and omissions, structural engineering design errors, architectural errors and omissions, installation errors (mis-installation of components), claims involving defective windows and sealants, defective fasteners, aquarium defects, and many other types of claims.

The structures we have analyzed in our litigation practice range from small private homes to massive public buildings, schools, arenas, airplane hangers and underground storage facilities.

Aside from the fairly typical construction defects that are frequently litigated when structures fail, leak or collapse, we have also handled the more specialized areas listed below:

  • Architects and engineers — errors and omissions
  • Defective construction techniques & inspection errors
  • Negligent construction oversight
  • Contract overages and financial mismanagement

Not all construction litigation involves deficiencies in construction, design or materials. The supervisory obligations of general contractors and architects include requirements pertaining to oversight of construction loan accounts and management of expenditures to prevent unnecessary overruns. Keeping a contract project on budget requires the work of licensed professionals governed by a legal standard of care that is often overlooked. We have significant experience in litigating these issues.

Misappropriation Of Proceeds From Construction Accounts

We commonly work with forensic accountants to audit construction accounts on behalf of owners and financial institutions alike, in order to ascertain the appropriateness of expenditures made by general contractors in the retention of subcontractors, the purchase of materials, payroll calculations and equipment leasing. In one case, we were able to discover systematic embezzlement of proceeds that had been earmarked for the purchase of professional liability insurance, leading to the entry of a judgment on behalf of our insurance company client and the insured homeowner whom we also represented in an amount approximately 20 times greater than the sum we had been retained to collect. The judgement entered after the trial was completed included specific findings making the judgment nondischargeable in bankruptcy. The trial involved expert testimony from engineers, construction specialists and a forensic accountant.

Insurance For Construction Defects

We have handled a very large number of insurance coverage issues pertaining to construction defect litigation, ranging from ordinary ISO standard-form insurance policies to highly customized wrap-up insurance packages. Our construction insurance experience includes bad-faith litigation, coverage analysis and coverage opinions, declaratory judgment actions, subrogation claims and contractual indemnity claims. We have litigated issues involving completed operations and completed product hazard claims, additional insured claims, and manuscript construction insurance policies.

Engineering Analysis & Expert Witnesses

We are well-versed in working with expert witnesses in virtually all fields associated with construction litigation. We have great familiarity with the vast bulk of experts providing services in these areas within the central United States. We have taken literally hundreds of depositions of expert witnesses involved in the construction trades, and we have become acquainted with which experts are credible and which are not.

The key to success in litigation is to be realistic and careful in terms of how a "win" is defined under the circumstances of any given dispute. No two cases are exactly alike. Remember that no attorney or firm can guarantee success according to any arbitrary standard or in terms of a favorable result at trial. Whether or not to try a case or settle a case is a decision a client makes with the advise of an attorney, and no attorney can guarantee anything about the outcome of a civil case. Any case, tried to a jury or a court, might be resolved unfavorably. Trials are inherently unpredictable. Statements contained on this website regarding the ability of the professionals at Godfrey | Johnson, P.C., are based upon good faith perceptions of our abilities demonstrated over years of practice, and are not intended to imply that the attorneys have never lost a case or that we can assure that any particular case will be won at trial or on motions. The best way to evaluate any case is to communicate about it in depth with qualified legal counsel, providing all relevant information to the attorney. It is dangerous to withhold facts from an attorney, and can lead to the delivery of legal advise that is fundamentally flawed. No attorney can prevent this from happening, as attorneys all must rely to some extent upon the information that is provided to them by their clients. The best way to evaluate an attorney is by that attorney's track record, and ours is open for discussion in any specific field. Our abilities as described on this website are based upon experience in actual cases, which have been successful more often than not. ©2015 Godfrey | Johnson, P.C. All rights reserved.