Of course, elevators are supposed to go up and down. But when there’s missing rebar in the masonry construction housing it, well, it’s bound to fall out of alignment. And that’s what made this elevator project go sideways.
This was the primary topic on a recent surety file in The Big Apple, a claim our experts were asked to investigate and analyze. The Principal contended that he had built the elevator’s shaft as designed by the Obligee’s Architect and Engineer. When the elevator shaft failed to pass the building inspection, the Obligee defaulted the Principal. He demanded the surety take over the project and correct the alleged deficiencies.
Relying upon Guardian Group Inc’s, extensive construction and engineering claims track record and a relationship built through results, our surety client wanted to avoid the costs of takeover and looming litigation by leveraging our expertise immediately. In consult with our structural engineer, Guardian Group Inc.’s seasoned claims examiner helped establish that:
1) It was the Obligee who had modified the design of the elevator shaft
2) This modification included the omission of mission-critical rebar, which was necessary (and required) for the shaft to be constructed properly and safely
Working in collaboration with the Principal and its Counsel, everyone agreed it was the design, and not the construction, that caused the elevator shaft problems. Guardian Group Inc.’s Surety Group recommended our client deny the claim, and they embraced the bases we provided for doing so. Ultimately, the Obligee had to replace the elevator shaft at its own cost. While previously there was a threat of litigation, this never manifested as the full Guardian Group Inc. team had documented and illustrated so clearly the design deficiencies and the apportionment of fault.
Large or small, and regardless of where your surety claims, cases and issues may be, Guardian Group, Inc. puts its nearly 30 years’ problem-solving experience to work for you. Call us to discuss your next challenge.