Defending a General Contractor from Getting Soaked


The General Contractor responsible for a development of 200+ townhome-style condominium complex was being sued by the HOA. In the wake of a storm that included massive rainfall, the first floors and garages of almost all the units experienced widespread water intrusion. Claimed damages exceeded $4MM.


The law firm for the general’s insurance carrier immediately called Guardian Group for a forensic evaluation of the case, which included a review of site photographs. So that residents could enjoy the surrounding natural environment, the units had been constructed close to a dry riverbed. This dry riverbed included berms on either side. However, the sheer volume of rainfall (historic) transformed the riverbed back into a rushing stream, which overtook the berms and sent almost two feet of water into the surrounding streets and flowed into the structures. The HOA and their expert blamed a fabric storm drain filter the General Contractor had installed to prevent silt and construction debris from clogging the storm drain system. Guardian’s expert disagreed as some of the photos showed the berms completely submerged under water.


The General Contractor’s use of the fabric filter is a requirement and common practice to prevent silt runoff. Guardian’s forensic engineer proved it wasn’t “backup” from the street drain that caused the water to surmount the berm. It was the flooding itself from within the dry riverbed. Once the storm water breached the berms there was nothing the storm sewer system on the site could do to prevent flood waters from penetrating into the first floors and the garages. Counsel expressed appreciation for the expert’s diligence, vigilance, and stalwart support throughout the case.


Guardian Group, now operating as a division of YA, provides insurance carriers and their law firms the forensic investigations and litigation support they need to resolve their cases expeditiously. Together, Guardian and YA’s unparalleled nationwide network of construction defect experts means regardless of the defect type, size or complexity, savvy case strategy starts here. For rapid response, pragmatic counsel, and clear communication, kindly call on us today.

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