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Florida Man… Just Following Orders
A Miami highrise's parking garage was the site of a construction defect claim.


Recently, Guardian’s Construction Defect Group was asked to consult on a Florida high-rise condominium case. The HOA complained that there were leaks all over the building. One of their claimed contributors to these leaks was the installation of CMU (concrete masonry units). Florida is widely known for issues pertaining to stucco, and at this buildings stucco was applied not only over CMU but light-gauge metal framing as well.


Upon engagement, Guardian’s lead forensic expert inspected the property. The first five stories of the building served as a parking garage for residents, visitors, and staff. Moisture intrusion and stucco failure were evident throughout this portion of the structure. It is this portion of the structure where light-gauge metal framing was used to make large flat walls appear aesthetically interesting. A layer of gypsum sheathing was installed over the light-gauge framing and it was then coated with a 3-coat cement plaster stucco system.


Guardian’s expert found significant water intrusion and damage to the light-gauge metal framing. However, the CMU was free of cracks and was installed true and plumb. It was incorrect and unfair to blame the CMU installer as this was not a contributing factor in the water intrusion. The detailing within the stucco system and waterproofing of the architectural bump-outs were the actual sources of water intrusion. As is often the case, even when a party bears no responsibility for the alleged damage, it is in their client’s best interest simply to settle and dispense with the case. In this matter, the settlement amount was a fraction of the originally allocated demand sought. The attorneys expressed their appreciation for the material knowledge Guardian’s expert possessed and the material difference it made towards this case settlement.


When carriers and their counsel require forensic engineering support, they often call upon the experts at Guardian Group, Inc. Guardian’s engineers and other construction defect specialists draw upon over 30 years’ complex construction claims experience to successfully resolve cases, claims, and defective structures. Insurance companies and law firms (as well as owners and developers) appreciate the expedience, pragmatic advice, and professionalism provided. When you require a vigilant eye on construction defect matters, kindly call on the team at Guardian Group.



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