Malpractice claims are not only for medical, financial or legal professionals.
Architects, engineers, surveyors, and other construction professionals commonly face malpractice claims in Florida too. These can be couched as negligence claims or breach of contract claims, but the essence is similar: being blamed for not meeting the required standard of care, whether that standard is established by the contract or the legal requirements of your profession.
While professional mistakes can and do happen, many claims are unfair, unjustified or frivolous.
Regardless of the reason, a malpractice claim has the potential to seriously impact the business and hard-earned reputation of construction professionals and needs to be defended vigorously.
Whether it is a design-based or contract administration claim, the construction malpractice attorneys at Bennett Legal Group in Orlando can protect your rights, advise on the next steps and defend the claim against you.
Common construction malpractice lawsuits
Malpractice lawsuits from property owners or by general contractors against subcontractors are relatively common in Florida.
Sometimes, these claims are due to construction defects or unacceptable construction delays. Other problems can occur with payment disputes or other contractual issues.
Malpractice lawsuits are filed on a variety of legal grounds against architects, engineers, surveyors, developers, builders, or general contractors.
Professional construction negligence
Professional negligence is when a construction professional fails to perform their responsibilities according to the standards specified within the contract or their profession.
Negligence claims are particularly common if the actions of a construction contractor, subontractor or other professional resulted in a safety hazard for the property owner or building occupants.
The plaintiff must prove that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care, workmanship, and professional skill, which resulted in the construction work, design, or construction administration not meeting industry standards.
Breach of construction contract
If the construction of a building fails to follow the obligations, plans, specifications, and requirements set forth by the construction contract, the construction professionals involved may be held in breach of contract.
Breach of construction warranty
With a breach of a warranty claim, the plaintiff claims that a construction defect that was discovered after the end of the project was due to the defendant’s failure to uphold the warranty on the property.
Limited-time warranties are common on construction projects. If a defect is found within this time and not repaired according to the warranty, the original owner or subsequent owner may be able to file a claim.
What is construction negligence for architects and engineers?
Construction negligence is one of the most common types of malpractice lawsuits faced by construction professionals in Florida. We often represent architects and engineers in such cases.
According to Florida law, negligence is a failure to act with reasonable care. All specialized work on the project should be conducted with the skill required for it to result in safe and lasting work.
For instance, architects or engineers could be accused of negligence if they designed or approved the design of a structure that failed to comply with building codes, safety regulations or other requirements.
In other words, if they fail to meet a duty of care to ensure that the building is safe for the occupants.
Construction defect claims are also common lawsuits against contractors and subcontractors and substandard materials could be grounds for a negligence case against a supplier.
In Florida, general contractors and developers are ultimately responsible for negligence by subcontractors.
Malpractice claims can get complex and it is generally advisable to discuss your situation with a construction malpractice attorney before taking any action if you are accused of negligence.
Construction malpractice defense for architects & engineers in Florida
With construction negligence claims, the key consideration is whether an architect, engineer or other construction professional acted with reasonable care or if their actions (or inaction) led to losses, injuries or damage.
To successfully defend such construction claims requires proof that the professional did, in fact, act with reasonable care.
The malpractice defense attorneys at Bennett Legal Group are intimately familiar with the relevant Florida construction laws and experienced in defending these claims for architects, engineers, surveyors, and other construction-related design professionals.
Our construction malpractice attorneys have defended many local architects and engineers facing design or contract administration malpractice claims. This includes design defects, defective specifications, and errors and omissions claims against professionals responsible for major projects, such as theme parks, hotels, and airports, to name a few.
Our founding partner, Brian Bennett, spent almost seven years in the civil engineering and general construction field prior to attending law school. This practical, real-world construction experience extends throughout projects from the planning and design stages to construction and completion.
Our practical experience combines with the sole focus at our firm on construction-related matters to provide knowledgeable, rigorous, and effective defense for clients.
We understand the process for reviewing design drawings and specifications and how these documents interact with other construction documentation. In fact, we are often asked to assist design professionals before an issue becomes a claim or dispute.
“Pre-claim” assistance can be a valuable way to avoid expensive litigation and to help preserve important business relationships. We can often resolve complex matters using alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration, rather than letting a judge decide. This can avoid unnecessary delays to projects, allowing them to continue without being halted for expensive litigation.
Book a consultation with a Florida construction malpractice attorney
If you are an engineer, architect or other design professional based in Florida and accused of malpractice, we can assist you in building a defense and preventing losses.
We routinely work with engineers and architects in Orlando and around the state, conducting risk assessments before a claim is made or intervening with “pre-claim” assistance to prevent a claim from becoming a disaster for businesses.
We generally attempt to settle matters out of court but will defend you at a civil trial if need be.
Call us today at 407-734-4559 to arrange a consultation or complete a short form and let us know the nature of your issue.