While most parties to a commercial construction project want to ensure they do their best work, sometimes mistakes or omissions are made. These errors could lead to construction defects, which could lead to slow-downs in the project or expose certain parties to liability if the defect is not discovered until after the project is complete. It is important for contractors in Louisiana to understand when they may be liable for construction defects.
Contractors, along with subcontractors and designers, could potentially be responsible for construction defects. In general, the property owner is not liable for construction defects. Contractors have a standard of care to uphold. They have the duty to do their job while strictly following the contracts they have with the designers, subcontractors and project owners. Contracts are the cornerstone of most commercial construction projects, so it is essential that the contractor ensures that any contracts they execute are in their best interests and contain clauses that explicitly state what the contractor wants.
In general, contractors must visit the site where the project is to take place, to gain an understanding of the local conditions. Contractors also must review any contracts they are a party to, so they can perform their duties in accordance with the construction industry’s accepted standards of workmanship. Contractors are responsible for ensuring defects do not occur. It is important to note that if the contractor does not want to be liable for any mistakes or omissions in the design of the project, the contracts they enter should clearly state this.
Construction defects can cause a lot of trouble financially for contractors, so they should be avoided at all costs. Contractors who are facing liability for construction defects will want to determine if their contracts were breached and if they have any legal defenses to counter the accusations against them.