Case Descriptions

After hurricane Katrina, the general contractor was being sued by the homeowners association concerning purported construction deficiencies, which allegedly allowed water infiltration into the high rise condominium units. A thorough investigation of the construction documents was made, plus a site inspection including construction practices as observable on phase two, and an inspection and testing performed on the existing building veneers and the various glazing systems. After this it was determined that while the contractor had some responsibility pertaining to some improper material installations, it was also determined that the envelope materials performed in accordance with the design criteria, and a settlement was reached.

A fruit grove owner and processor was denied coverage on a storm damage claim from a category III hurricane. The processing facility had multiple roof areas, with multiple roof membrane types. Through investigation and cross referencing of the various damage types to the different roof systems, including other surrounding buildings, despite the age of some of the roof membranes, it was proven that the facility did suffer roof damage and significant subsequent water infiltration because of the storm incident. Ultimately a decision was made to award the facility owners damages.

A family owned nursing home was offered a four figure settlement for storm damage from hurricane Katrina. The insurer’s premise was that all of the damage was caused by rising water, for which the building had little if any coverage. Through extensive investigation of the metal roof system and meticulous documentation of the interior and exterior damages it was determined that the metal roof panel system had indeed suffered significant damage from the category III hurricane. It was proved that the facility had serious water infiltration because of the damage to the roof. Ultimately the jury awarded the facility owners damages.

An existing hotel was purchased with the intent of renovating it for use as an affordable housing community. After the purchase, it was discovered that the building had severe water infiltration problems. which were causing mold contamination. After multiple site inspections, including investigation during the demolition process, and review of the previous owner’s maintenance records, it was revealed that the previous owner had significantly misrepresented the condition of the property at the time of sale. Eventually, just before trial, a settlement was reached between the parties at mediation.

The hotel had suffered wind and water infiltration damage after a hurricane. The insurance company was denying coverage and suing the owner and renovation contractors for improperly and fraudulently certifying their construction work. After days of site investigation, review of construction documents and review of wind storm weather data, it was determined that the wind and water infiltration damage was not directly attributable to the scope of work performed by the building owner’s contractors. It was found that the source of the damage was due to existing and/or previous construction conditions and had little if anything to do with the scope of work the contractors had performed. Eventually a settlement was reached.

The owner of a hotel sued a contractor for improper workmanship. The owner maintained that the flashing around all of the existing windows was installed improperly. The owner was demanding the removal of existing EIFS veneer from around every window and that all of the windows have the flashings removed and the windows reset and reflashed, and then have new EIFS installed. Eventually, the hotel owner hired a consultant who came up with an alternate method of repair, which still required that all of the perimeter EIFS be removed. After review of the original construction documents, review and investigation of each and every reported leak, review of the owner’s consultant report, and separate invasive investigation of selected and arbitrary window locations, it was determined that actually a very small percentage of the window installations were actually leaking. It was also determined that opposing consultant’s assumptions and reasoning could not be substantiated, and that their recommendations were exorbitant in scope. The perimeter window flashing integrity was verified, the actual water infiltration problems were identified, and alternate method(s) of repair were proven to resolve the water infiltration issues. From this information the parties engaged in mediation and came to settlement.

A roofer was electrocuted while installing a new roof. The roofer's family sued the electrical supplier for negligence. Through investigation of the contract and other project documents, it was determined that the original contractor had subcontracted the job to an unqualified contractor and that the original contractor had not properly investigated the subcontractor’s level of OSHA training, nor had the original contractor properly supervised the project. By understanding the intended and executed work process, along with the OSHA construction safety requirements, a settlement was able to be achieved.

The high rise condominium suffered water infiltration during a hurricane storm. The HOA hired a national consultant group to investigate the problem, who then wrote a report primarily blaming the original EIFS and glazing installation for the water infiltration problems. The same consultant then wrote a scope of work to correct the problems. After a review of the initial consultant’s report and the original construction documents, and performing multiple separate site investigations, along with numerous site investigations of the conditions found during the multiple month exterior rehabilitation by the contractor, it was determined that the original consultant’s report had vastly overblown the amount of the water infiltration, and that many of the causations were from the original design and other contractors. It was also determined that the opposing consultant’s assumptions and reasoning could not be substantiated and that their recommendations were exorbitant in scope. From this and other information, the parties engaged in mediation and came to settlement.

The owner of a several hundred thousand dollar home sued a roofing contractor for water infiltration from a roof drain that had backed up and had other purported workmanship problems. Through review of the original roofing contractor’s project file, the roofing and interior renovation contractor's inspection, demolition and resultant renovation documents; and multiple site investigations as well as weather and other Internet and other historical information, it was determined that the owner had hidden previous significant water infiltration problems from the roofing contractor when he originally engaged him to reroof his home. Also, the owner’s separate investigating consultant had a conflict of interest in that he investigated the supposed problem, scoped the supposed necessary renovation work and then performed the reroof renovation work himself. It was also determined that the interior moisture detection methodology that was used to determine the breadth of the interior renovation was severely flawed, By assisting the litigator in deposition of opposing witnesses and experts, an advantageous settlement was able to be achieved prior to going to trial.

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