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Complaints: Design & Construction Defects


Proper evaluation of design and construction defects requires careful analysis of available information, as well as determination of the need for additional information if feasible.


All-too-often, attorneys do not have adequate knowledge to effectively handle design and construction defect claims. You should consider having qualified structural engineer perform evaluation before hiring attorney. You can then be able to develop questions for such attorney based on engineering report as well as discussions with engineer about claim.


Initially, vast majority of home owners do not understand that there are two basic functions for any construction project; design and construction. It is essential to determine which party is responsible for each defect. For some defects, both parties may be partly responsible.


Early in 2017, prospective buyer called me in to evaluate condition with crack in foundation wall of large one-story house with "slab" foundation. One relatively minor crack had been noted by general home inspection firm. However, I determined that entire foundation was in good condition.


Prior to my evaluation, buyer had contractor look at foundation. Representative of contractor, which is relatively large firm, presented buyer with written proposal, including plan that was not prepared by engineer, to "repair" foundation by installing 39 helical steel piles........at cost of $52,000.


Prospective buyer, who decided not to purchase property, did not want to file complaint. After discussion, I filed claim against contractor firm and representative, with NJ Board of Professional Engineers, for; (1) Consumer fraud, and (2) Practice of engineering without a license. The Board has been reviewing complaint.

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