Common Myths about Construction Defect Lawsuits

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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There are common myths about which situations can lead to a winning construction defect lawsuit. 

Myth #1: A Certificate of Occupancy Means the Building was Constructed Properly

A Certificate of Occupancy, or “C of O” as it is commonly referred to, only signifies that certain minimum safety and/or building code standards have been met according to the city or county’s guidelines. These guidelines differ depending on where you live, but a home that receives a “C of O” does not mean that it was constructed properly or is free of defects.

Myth #2: If the Defect is Not Covered Under a Limited Warranty, the Homeowner Cannot Sue

While a limited warranty may be only for specific construction defects and certain time constraints, it doesn’t mean the homeowner has no remedy against the builder. In fact, the homeowner may be able to recover from the builder, the developer, the general contractor and any sub-contractors under several causes of action. These include strict liability, negligence and breach of contract. An experienced attorney will be able to determine what causes of action might be available to you. 

Myth #3: A Home With a Construction Defect Will Always be Worth Less

While the homeowner may believe his home’s defect will be detrimental towards getting a good price for a future sale, the reality is that most buyers who see that a defect has been corrected tend to overlook the matter. The key here is that the problem was corrected properly. The homeowner must disclose any known defects when listing a home for sale. Therefore, it’s best to correct the problem beforehand, even if that means filing a lawsuit against the responsible party to obtain those funds.

If you’ve experienced a construction defect and would like to know more about what options are available to you, contact a construction defect attorney to discuss your particular situation.

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