ABOUT THE CASE, CLAIM, OR ISSUE
For those who follow these construction defect case studies closely, you’ll notice a thematic connection here to last month’s installment. On this case, too, the defendant was a framer, and he was being blamed for all sorts of water intrusion and damages across a large property. Guardian’s Construction Defect Group was called in by the insurance carrier’s counsel to examine the buildings, their damages and causes, and support in litigation.
ABOUT THE INVESTIGATION
In this particular part of the country (withheld to ensure confidentiality), it is permissible to build single-story structures with wood rather than CMUs (concrete masonry units), and that is exactly what Guardian’s forensic engineer found when he arrived at the scene: a complete office park comprised of wood-framed and stucco-coated one-story buildings. While it was clear that water was leaking into the walls and foundation, Guardian’s expert raised two fundamental questions. 1.) The plaintiff’s expert repeatedly stated that had the framer only used a stepped approach to the foundation transition all of this mess could have been avoided; who instructed him to do so? 2.) With a wood frame, especially, just how critical are stucco cure times and strict adherence to other application protocols? (Answer: very.)
ABOUT THE RESOLUTION
While the foundation step technique so adamantly embraced by the plaintiff’s expert and opposing counsel certainly affords functional and aesthetic advantages, such a transition from the stucco walls to the foundation was neither compelled by code nor indicated by the architectural drawings. Moreover, it was really the shoddy stucco job that led to the moisture intrusion in the first place. While in the end the defendant did have to pay a token sum, the insurance carrier knew they resolved the matter for far less than they would have otherwise were it not for the diligence and vigilance of their counsel and their retained experts at Guardian Group.
ABOUT GUARDIAN GROUP
Providing carriers and their counsel expert forensics, practical advice, and responsive, professional service, Guardian’s Construction Defect Group delivers where others falter. With over 30 years’ experience in complex construction claims, Guardian Group consistently comes through, helping people resolve their cases and claims savvily, swiftly, and cost-effectively. Put that track record to work for you. Kindly call Guardian Group today.