Baton Rouge Business And Construction Law Blog

Construction defects include dry rot and wet rot

When a commercial structure is being erected in Louisiana, there are usually many parties involved in the project. There is the project owner, general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and more. Specifically, when it comes to suppliers, those who contract with them expect their goods will not be defective. Unfortunately, construction defects are sometimes found in the supplies used to build a structure. Today we will take a look at two types of defects that can be found in wood used to construct a building: dry rot and wet rot.

Dry rot takes place when a specific kind of fungi eats away at the wood, transforming it into a dry powdery substance. Dry rot can happen if there is insufficient air ventilation or if the wood used has not been correctly seasoned. Painting the wood with copper sulphate can help prevent dry rot.

What is required to form a contract in Louisiana?

A construction project in Louisiana involves many entities, including the commercial property owner, the contractor, various subcontractors, and even financial institutions if the property owner took out a loan to purchase the premises. All these entities have one thing in common: they likely entered into a contract in the process of executing the construction project. Therefore, it is important to understand exactly what it takes to form a legally-binding and enforceable contract.

First, to execute a contract an offer must be made. Offers must be unambiguous, and the party making it must have the reasonable expectation that the other party will agree to abide by the terms of the proposed deal. Second, the offer must be accepted, which means the other party must unambiguously express that they agree to perform the terms of the offer. Third, consideration must be negotiated and exchanged. Consideration is simply something of value that the parties to the contract will exchange in order to benefit from the deal.

Why might Louisiana contractors benefit from subcontracting?

Construction projects can be complex undertakings involving many parties. Of course, there is the property owner, but in addition there are usually general contractors and third-party subcontractors involved in these projects. It is important to understand the roles general contractors and subcontractors play in the execution of a construction project in Louisiana, as their classification may have significant legal ramifications.

When a general contractor is working on a complex construction project, he or she may contract with a third party, who will undertake certain tasks associated with the project. For example, a construction company building a strip mall may contract with an electrician to do the wiring in the building. This practice is known as "subcontracting." When the general contractor hires a third-party subcontractor, the general contractor remains responsible for seeing that the project is completed per the terms of the arrangement the general contractor has with the property owner. This means adhering to the agreed-upon parameters of the project and meeting all deadlines associated with it.

Why legal oversight is crucial when drafting operation agreements

Starting a business involves covering all your bases. It is possible to strengthen each area of your comprehensive business plan with careful legal oversight. The plan itself will include various details related to its daily operations and financial management.

Failing to have your business plan reviewed and revised through a team of legal and financial experts may result in serious trouble down the road. The best way to safeguard the vision and investment of your business is by working within the framework of local, state, and federal laws.

Don't wait too long to bring a construction defect claim

When a Louisiana business hires construction contractors to erect a building, or when a contractor works with a subcontractor to complete a construction project, it is expected that there will be no defects in the final structure. Unfortunately, mistakes are sometimes made or unsafe short-cuts are taken that lead to construction defects. Businesses, contractors, and subcontractors in such situations may wish to take legal action against the responsible parties. However, they should keep in mind that they have a limited amount of time in which to do so.

If a construction defect case is based on a contract dispute, there is a "statute of limitations" that will apply to the claim. Generally, the lawsuit needs to be filed within a particular amount of time after the defect was discovered or should have been discovered. Once this time period has passed, it is no longer possible to pursue a legal claim. In Louisiana, the statute of limitations for breach of contract claims is 10 years.

What if construction defects lead to toxic mold?

When there are construction defects in Louisiana, there are times when a simple call to the company that built the structure or worked on it can be called to fix it and there is no dispute, no disagreement, and no need to file a lawsuit. However, there are certain issues that are dangerous and can cause injuries and illness. One that should be concerning and might warrant a legal filing is toxic mold.

If toxic mold is found and people are put in danger, the immediate perception is that a company involved in construction, repair and maintenance is responsible for it. That is not always the case and a business that is accused of causing or ignoring toxic mold must formulate a strong defense against these claims. Understanding how the law views these problems is integral to a defense.

Can business law help me protect my trade secrets?

Innovation is a goal for every business in Louisiana and around the world. In today's world, however, with many people trying to come up with the next great idea, it is important to protect one's interests as much as possible. This is to ensure that the profits go to the person or entity that created the idea and put it into action rather than having someone else take advantage of information becoming public and taking it for their own. A big reason why many people have lost out on the benefits of their idea or creation is a failure to understand basic aspects of business law and how to protect trade secrets. This is a vital step and a law firm that understands all aspects of business can help.

A trade secret could be anything that builds a product or improves upon it. That secret is critical to the business being successful. Competitors are constantly looking for ideas and one mistake in defending a trade secret could have terrible consequences. The Uniform Trade Secrets Act is a method of protection for trade secrets. In general, it means that the information has economic value just by it not being known and it is possible to keep it a secret.

Allegations of construction defects must be strongly defended

Louisiana construction is a booming business in the public and private sector, commercial and residential. Companies that provide a variety of services in the construction industry will seek to maintain and expand their business by doing quality work. Of course, every business requires legal protection from allegations of errors or construction defects. These happen quite often. When working in this industry, it is imperative to have that strong defense if the issue in dispute is not the fault of the construction company as there are multiple negative impacts that can come from a legal filing.

If the company is accused of doing poor work on a project, does not adhere to the plans, creates a dangerous situation, does not complete the work, or commits some form of financial impropriety, it can severely damage the business not just in its finances, but in its reputation as well. Those who are dealing with any of these issues should keep in mind that they must protect themselves in myriad ways.

Not paid for construction work? Consider filing a mechanic’s lien

Receiving payment for a construction project can be difficult. If you are a subcontractor or material supplier, you probably rely on a third party to provide your payment. While a property owner might pay a general contractor, you might not always receive your part of the check. If this happens to you, consider filing a mechanic’s lien on the property.

 

A business law firm can help in deciding on a corporation vs. LLC

Starting a business in Louisiana is a difficult endeavor. Simply formulating a product or service that customers will purchase and use is hard enough without thinking about the aspects of business law that must be addressed. However, they must be considered as even the most viable idea for a business can be hindered or outright ruined by failing to use the correct business form. Knowing whether a corporation or a limited liability corporation (LLC) is preferable is a key decision.

With an LLC, the business is flexible and simplified. If, for example, the business plans to own property, an LLC can prevent the business owner from paying double taxes. With an LLC, there is the pass-through option for its owners and they can be shielded from this issue. A corporation could be preferable for several reasons. When there are numerous investors or an initial public offering is planned, the corporation will have shareholders who will want proof of the stock they have purchased. Only corporations can sell stock in the business.

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