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Epic Construction Defects

Construction Defects

Eve Mazzarella shares how construction often involves disputes between property owners, builders, contractors, and insurance companies. These cases typically revolve around problems with the design, workmanship, or materials used in construction projects. Here are some extreme examples of construction defects.

Leaning Tower of San Francisco – Construction Defects:

Construction DefectsThe Millennium Tower in San Francisco is a luxury high-rise residential building that gained notoriety due to construction defects. After its completion in 2008, the building started sinking and leaning to the tune of several feet. After notification of the residents in 2016, a number of suits were filed directing blame towards not only the developer and contractor, but the transit authority and others. In recent years, there were reports of panes of glass falling to the ground and damaging adjacent building. The “fix” to this disaster ultimately involved driving 18 piles 275 feet below the street cost $100 million. This case highlights the importance of proper foundation engineering and coordination between adjacent projects having the ability to impact one another.

Mirant Power Plant:

In the early 2000s, a case involving the Mirant Power Plant in California made headlines. Neighboring homeowners filed a lawsuit claiming that emissions from the power plant had caused health problems and property damage. The case raised questions about environmental regulations and the responsibility of industrial facilities to mitigate the impact on nearby residents.

Construction Defects in School Buildings:

Public buildings, such as schools, are not immune to construction defects. In a case in Nevada, a school district filed a lawsuit against contractors and architects, alleging that several newly constructed schools had design and construction flaws. This case highlighted the potential safety risks for students and the financial burden on the school district to rectify the defects.

Condominium Balcony Collapse:

In Berkeley, California, a tragic accident occurred when a fifth-floor balcony of a condominium collapsed during a party, resulting in fatalities and injuries. An investigation revealed that the balcony had significant dry rot and was poorly constructed. The case resulted in lawsuits against the builder and property management company, raising questions about building inspections and maintenance.

Defective Chinese Drywall:

In the mid-2000s, there was a widespread issue with imported Chinese drywall in the United States. Homeowners in multiple states filed lawsuits after discovering that the drywall emitted toxic fumes, corroded wiring, and caused health problems. The case raised concerns about product liability and the quality of materials used in construction.

Bridge Construction in Minneapolis:

The collapse of the I-35W Mississippi River bridge in Minneapolis in 2007 was a devastating incident attributed to construction defects and a design flaw. Thirteen people were killed, and many others were injured. The case led to lawsuits against the state, the engineering firm, and construction companies, highlighting the dire consequences of construction defects in critical infrastructure.

These examples illustrate the diverse range of construction defect cases, from residential and commercial properties to critical infrastructure. Construction defects can have significant legal, financial, and safety implications, underscoring the importance of proper design, construction, and quality control in the construction industry.

Mazzarella Law has represented owners, developers and contractors in construction defect disputes involving residential remodels, luxury home builds, and commercial properties recovering over $20 million for our clients in the last two years alone.