What Are The Most Common Bases For Construction Dispute Claims?
There are a number of different types of legal claims that can be raised when there is a construction dispute. Below is an overview of the most common bases for construction dispute claims in Louisiana: breach of contract claims and breach of warranty for construction defects in new homes.
Breach of ContractIn the realm of construction law in Louisiana, disputes arise all the time between contractors, subcontractors, owners, suppliers, vendors, etc. Breach of contract claims are one of the most common types of construction disputes in Louisiana. This is because contractual agreements are an integral part of working in the construction industry. Of course, contracts are used for everything, from land and building purchases to service agreements and purchases.
When one party to the contract fails to perform as promised, or does something that is completely outside of what was agreed upon, that party is in breach of the contract, and the other party (i.e., the injured party) can seek damages and/or specific performance (in some cases). A breach of contract can take a number of forms, including:
- Failure to perform in a timely manner (e.g., taking longer to complete a project than agreed upon).
- Failure to perform in a manner as stipulated by the contract (e.g., failed to use a particular material or construction technique as stipulated in the construction contract).
- Failure to do what was agreed upon (e.g., did not complete the contract or leaves the jobs site).
Breach of WarrantyWhen the construction project is a home, additional warranties are imposed on the contractor for the project under Louisiana's New Home Warranty Act. The underlying premise to these protections is that the contractor who built the new home warrants that the home is free of various types of defects for certain periods of time. For instance, under these laws, the contractor warrants that the home will be free of:
- Defects that would place the home in noncompliance with building standards for a period of one year after completing construction.
- Defects related to plumbing, electrical, heating, cooling or ventilation for a period of two years post construction.
- Defects related to the structure of the home for a period of five years after construction is completed.
When there is a construction defect in a new home, poor workmanship or a violation of a building code, injured parties can bring a claim under the New Home Warranty Act, but damages for incomplete performance or repairs usually have to be sought as a breach of contract claim. Breach of contract, breach of warranty and construction defect claims are often closely intertwined in a lot of construction disputes. A skilled Louisiana construction lawyer can help you sort out your construction issues.