In this article, you will learn…
- The most common construction disputes our firm handles,
- Why a contractor should not engage in retaliatory actions if not paid, and
- What remedies are most common for construction disputes.
What Are The Most Common Construction Disputes Your Firm Handles?
Some of the most common construction disputes we handle include…
- Payment disputes,
- Quality of work disputes,
- Contractor and subcontractor disputes, and
- Owner disputes.
With quality of work disputes, an owner may not be willing to pay a contractor or subcontractor and will claim that they don’t believe the contractor or subcontractor did the work correctly. We then have to analyze whether there’s documentation that’s in the file to support that claim, or if there’s a total lack of any complaints and they’re only now complaining at the end of the job. Often, it’s an owner’s way of avoiding making a full payment.
We represent contractors and we understand the laws in Pennsylvania that allows them to get into those situations to bring a suit against the owner that would allow them to recover their attorney’s fees and any delay costs associated with payments. It takes the incentive out of delaying paying a contractor.
We can also file a mechanic’s lien against the property to prevent the owner from selling it free and clear. It puts a cloud on the title, which is usually an incentive to get the owner to pay what is owed to the contractor.
We also handle disputes between contractors and subcontractors where the contractor doesn’t pay the subcontractor or the contractor does pay the subcontractor and the subcontractor walks off the job without completing it. We also represent owners who have hired contractors who did not complete the job at all or up to standard.
If There Is A Contractor Who Retaliated For Not Being Paid For The Work He Completed By Pouring Cement And Concrete Down The Drainage System Of The Whole Apartment, How Would That Be Handled In Court?
That contractor would be sued or even held criminally liable for their actions, because that borders on criminal conduct.
From a civil perspective, you would sue the contractor for damaging the property. He has done something that is equivalent to taking a bulldozer and running a building down. The court doesn’t allow an individual to take matters into their own hands and destroy property. There are remedies set forth, and once you take retaliatory action, you put yourself on the wrong side of the equation.
What Remedies Are Used To Resolve Construction Disputes?
Some of the remedies available for resolving construction disputes include…
- Mechanic’s lien,
- Attorney’s fees, and
- 1% penalty fee.
Placing a mechanic’s lien on the property gives you leverage to get the owner to come to the table and try to resolve the dispute. You only have so long to acquire a mechanic’s lien and it does involve a lawsuit.
You can recover your attorney’s fee and a 1% penalty fee for any delay associated with the dispute. These are the classic remedies for construction disputes.
What Is Your Firm’s Experience In Guiding Laborers, Contractors, And Subcontractors Through The Construction Dispute Resolution Process?
Our firm has been guiding laborers, contractors, and subcontractors through the construction dispute resolution process for 30 years. We have been on all sides of the equation. We work with the owner to analyze it from the owner’s perspective to find out…
- What the contract documents outline,
- What the contractor was supposed to do,
- Whether the contractor did it correctly, and
- Whether the contractor did it timely.
We work with the general contractor in the same manner to determine…
- What the contract was with the owner,
- Whether the contractor has been paid,
- What reasons exist for the job not going according to plan, and
- Whether those reasons are the fault of the owner or someone else.
We analyze each situation from every perspective to get a full understanding and we have many years of experience that guides us through this process to the right outcome.
Has Your Practice Been Negatively Impacted By The Pandemic Or Other Recent Social Climate Changes? How Has Your Market Wavered And Has There Been Times When You Were Not Really Sure You Would Continue Practicing Personal Injury?
One thing you can rely on is this: Personal injury never takes a holiday.
It doesn’t take a break because of COVID. It doesn’t take a break because of a recession. It doesn’t take a break because of inflation. There will always be personal injury out there, because it’s unrelated to the normal day in and day out things that can be associated with pandemics, inflation, recession, or other things.
Personal injury exists because people can be careless, reckless, or inattentive. These cases are always out there, they always exist, and while that may be a sad reality, it is reality nonetheless.
The only impact of the pandemic on personal injury claims would be that the courts did close for a while, which caused things to be put on hold for a period of time. If you don’t have the threat of going to trial, people aren’t incentivized to talk settlement. There was still a lot you could do to build your case, however, such as…
- Developing the case,
- Sending questions out,
- Gathering information,
- Taking testimony, and
- Generally preparing for trial.
So, no, I wouldn’t say that my practice has been very negatively impacted by the pandemic overall. At this time, the courts have pretty much eliminated their backlog, as well. For more information on Common Construction Disputes Across PA, an initial consultation is your next best step.