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When can you sue an architect or engineer for a construction defect?

| Apr 27, 2021 | Construction |

When something goes wrong with the new construction on a building, it’s tempting to put all the blame on the general contractor involved. After all, they are largely in charge of the whole project, right?

Well, don’t be hasty: Architects and engineers can also be liable for construction defects.

Why do architects and engineers sometimes face liability?

A general contractor often has to rely on the information that they are given by an engineer or architect. While this is especially true in new construction, it can also apply when add-ons are built and during major renovations.

Some of the top reasons for lawsuits against both architects and engineers include:

  • Errors of design: Design mistakes can range from relatively minor problems to major safety concerns. They can even make a property unusable.
  • Errors of omission: It’s amazing what can get overlooked in a building design. Forgetting something like a stairwell, bathroom facilities or plumbing can be a disaster.
  • Safety mistakes: A single mathematic miscalculation can leave a building unsafe. Forgetting to look for instability in the ground itself is another big issue.
  • Problems with budgets: When a project goes way over budget, clients are bound to be angry — especially if they didn’t agree to the changes that caused the problem.
  • Delays in completion: Some projects need to be completed on time or the developer loses money. That can sometimes come back to avoidable mistakes on the part of the architect or engineer.
  • Inattention or negligence: When an architect or engineer is overloaded, they may not be able to give each job their full attention, and that can create all kinds of unfortunate situations.

Construction litigation can be highly complicated and fact-specific. The sooner you reach out to an attorney about your problem, the better the chance for a rapid solution.