Construction & Construction Defect
We handle a wide range of construction matters and projects for public and private entities. Our construction law attorneys help clients avoid costly disputes as projects progress, and we counsel clients regarding Louisiana Public Works Act and Private Works Act lien issues, warranty issues and surety/bond issues. When construction contract disputes arise, we handle the path to resolution at all levels of trial and appellate litigation, as well as through mediation and arbitration.
We manage the legal aspects of construction through all project stages handling:
- Contract development, including drafting, negotiation and change order process
- Administrative law and insurance issues
- Construction defects
- Dispute resolution
- Property damage and mold claims
- Bodily injury claims
- Land use and zoning
- Construction delay claims
Extensive Residential Renovation: The Firm represented a general contractor in an extensive residential renovation case. Plaintiffs alleged interior damage due to water intrusion, structural deflection and permanent damage to floors caused by lack of support, along with probable permanent structural damage as a result of deflection and leaks and diminution of the home’s value. Following discovery and development of appropriate defenses, which included the necessary retention of structural engineering, general contracting and carpentry experts, the matter was settled for a fraction of the damages sought.
Engineering Firm Sued by Parish after Hurricane Katrina: This matter involved the rebuilding of a local parish following Hurricane Katrina. Subsequent to the total destruction of public buildings following Hurricane Katrina a local Parish embarked on a very aggressive campaign to rebuild its public infrastructure via FEMA and the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. The Parish retained an engineering firm with FEMA experience to act as a program manager for its many projects. To maximize its recovery and speed up deadlines, the Parish decided to consolidate three destroyed facilities into one. This building, as designed and constructed, proved disastrous. The Firm was retained by the engineering firm to defend it in the ensuing litigation. The Parish sued every contractor, sub, supplier, surety and the engineering firm along with every potential insurer. Cross-claims followed. The result was a highly contentious 40-party lawsuit with court designated discovery weeks. There was heavy motion practice and the Firm was successful in resolving some, but not all of the claims asserted against the engineering firm. Ultimately, the case favorably settled but not until after three voluntary and two Court ordered mediations.
Botched Paint Job: Plaintiff sued the general contractor and painting subcontractor on a new house construction over a botched interior paint job that damaged custom designed, built, and installed cabinetry. The cabinetry had to be torn out and replaced. Multiple issues of coverage, indemnification, violation of unfair trade practices and consumer protection existed.
Custom Built Home: The plaintiff sued the general contractor, who in turn sued multiple subcontractors, regarding multiple claimed construction defects in a custom designed and built house. The Firm was retained to defend the carpentry/framing contractor who allegedly installed defective floor and ceiling joists and support beams. The matter was settled for a nominal amount.
Mediation to Resolve Complex Design Errors and Omissions Disputes: A Louisiana Parish retained the Firm to advise the Parish in connection with the construction of a new $26,565,000 Performing Arts Center. After the low-bidder was identified, evidence of design problems were identified and an expectation arose that litigation would ensue. As the project progressed, egregious design errors and omissions were discovered resulting in seven major change orders that exceeded $18,000,000. There were hundreds of RFI’s and over 400 revised drawings, more than 300 of which were for structural issues alone. The Parish authorized suit against the architect to attempt to recover for these errors and omissions. The Firm was able to successfully negotiate a settlement of nearly all of the claims against the architect and its subconsultants through mediation conducted early in the litigation in order to preserve and exploit eroding policy limits.