Castro & Associates Construction Trial Lawyers
310-966-6060

Los Angeles California Construction Law Blog

California transit center closed due to crack

Construction litigation arises for many reasons and these lawsuits can be especially difficult for construction companies that have recently completed a lengthy, costly project. In Los Angeles and all over the state of California, it is pivotal for construction company owners to handle these cases appropriately and be aware of just how much may be at stake. Setting aside the financial impact of disputes and legal action, a construction company's reputation may be on the line.

After a construction project that lasted for almost ten years, a recently-opened transit terminal in San Francisco was closed after a support beam was found to have been cracked. Officials have stated that the transit center will stay closed as engineers review the crack and inspect other beams.

San Francisco high rise exposes construction complexities

Residents in California who purchase homes should be able to trust that the building work was all completed appropriately and that they should not need to be concerned about problems with their structures. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. From single family homes to larger, multi-tenant buildings, faulty construction can cause serious issues that may take time to unravel and resolve. 

An example of this can be seen in the Millennium Tower project, San Francisco's tallest residential building boasting 58 stories and amazing views of the city and the bay. Opened to the public in 2009, Forbes explains that just seven short years later, it was identified that the skyscraper had not only sunk four inches more than it was supposed to in its entire life but it was also leaning two inches to one side. Some information indicated that there was the potential for another 15 inches of sinking to occur if no action was taken.

Why Boutique Construction Law Firms Are Ideal for Complex Construction Claims

When envisioning a lawyer to retain, it's difficult to articulate what makes a great litigation firm. But one thing is definitely true: "Fear the trial attorney who knows his case." Simply stated, it's impossible to bring home a win if you don't know the case inside and out.

Attorneys at boutique construction litigation firms like Castro & Associates are particularly adept at following this paradigm. They build their cases from the ground up. They are trial lawyers - there simply isn't room at the firm for the archetypal behind-the-desk, paper shufflers. The "hands on" deep familiarity with every aspect of a case of these seasoned lawyers is just one of the many reasons why boutique construction firms are ideal for complex construction claims. Here are few more:

  • 24/7 relationships Boutique construction firms specialize in construction and know their specialty area of construction law. Also, the trial attorneys who prepare the case are the same attorneys that will try the construction cases. Boutique firms allow for close working relationships between trial attorney and clients. Clients always know the chain of command and "where the buck stops." Clients can "put a face" to the trial attorney who will work with them through all phases of trial, and have the luxury of direct communications 24/7.
  • Such regular person-to-person collaboration inculcates productive working relations, creation of trust, and reliable "team building" skills that will be needed to navigate a complex construction litigated claim from start to finish. Boutique firms typically involve a center nucleus and discrete support team approach. The seasoned trial attorney with four decades of specialized construction experience forms the nucleus and the support team provides interactive and critical support throughout the prosecution of the complex multi-party construction claim.

At Castro & Associates the litigation team is:

Assessment and mitigation of earthquake damage risk

Earthquakes are a fact of life in California, and the challenges for construction companies and property owners are not only to build new structures that will be able to withstand the force of an earthquake but to rehabilitate older buildings so that they are safe. 

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, one of the most seismically vulnerable community construction categories is buildings made with unreinforced masonry walls. Masonry refers to bricks and mortar, and a reinforced masonry wall has a grid of steel bars embedded within it for stability. By definition, this grid is missing in an unreinforced masonry wall. Due to the relative inability of URM walls to withstand the stresses of an earthquake, buildings constructed of URM are the frequent target of seismic risk reduction programs in the United States, whether on a mandatory or voluntary basis. 

Construction defects can damage the value of your home

There are three types of construction defects: workmanship, design and material. Depending on the problem, you may have the right, as a homeowner or new buyer, to have repairs made by the seller or the construction team that led to the defects. In some cases, materials can be replaced by manufacturers, since the defects lie in the materials themselves.

To understand who is responsible for the defects, you need to understand the above three categories. Here's a little more about workmanship, material and design defects.

When your insurance claim is denied

When it comes to insurance claims, there are many examples of damages that can prompt people to turn to their insurance company. For example, a construction company may be hit hard by a natural disaster or unexpected challenges that have arisen which involve workers. Construction company owners count on their insurance company to back them up when certain things go wrong. Unfortunately, some construction company owners (and those who own other types of businesses) are let down when their insurance company denies the claim. This happens frequently in Los Angeles and all over California and we know how devastating a denied claim can be.

First of all, it is pivotal to know what your legal rights are and any options you may have. If you believe that your insurance claim was wrongfully rejected, you should review your possible options and you may even need to bring your case to the courtroom. Unfortunately, some business owners have given up even though they could have gained access to the compensation they needed following an emergency situation or disaster. Moreover, insurance companies should be held responsible for turning down an insurance claim that should have been given the green light.

How can I find a reliable contractor?

When having any work performed at your California home, you want to ensure that a contractor is prepared for the job. Failure to do so could result in an unsatisfying completed project or even lead to a legal dispute if you feel that a contractor failed to live up to his or her end of the bargain. Fortunately, you can raise the odds of finding a suitable contractor with these tips from U.S. News & World Report.

Ask around for references

Handling an extra work claim

If you run a construction company, there could be many different reasons why you find yourself in the middle of a tricky situation. We have covered some on this blog and this post will take a closer look at extra work claims. There are a number of reasons why you may need to charge for work that was not anticipated in the original contract, and this may lead to a dispute over charges. It is crucial for you to pursue compensation that you deserve and we know how tough this can be for contractors across the state of California.

Sometimes, a project takes longer to complete and contractors need to pursue compensation in order to pay workers who put in a lot of effort to finish a job. Moreover, extra materials may be necessary to complete a job, which may also need to be included in an extra work claim. If you are thinking about moving ahead with a claim, it is crucial for you to know what your rights are and approach this situation in the best way possible. In some instances, contractors are able to carefully explain the situation with clients and the extra work claim moves forward without any hassles. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and these claims can lead to bitter disputes.

Handling accusations of shoddy workmanship

As someone who owns a construction company, you have probably dealt with a number of work-related hassles, from disagreements among workers to misunderstanding and finger-pointing which involves clients. Unfortunately, these disagreements can reach the point where legal action becomes part of the picture. As a construction company owner, it is pivotal for you to not only protect your financial interests but your company as well. These allegations can permanently shatter a construction company's reputation and result in the cancellation of upcoming projects, among other setbacks. However, we know how difficult these disputes can be for companies in Los Angeles and other parts of California.

Disputes can appear for various reasons, but in this post we will examine allegations involving shoddy workmanship. In some cases, these claims are completely reasonable and a company's performance was unacceptable. However, there are also instances when someone may falsely accuse a construction company of poor-quality work. For example, someone may want to try to get out of the payments they owe by making these accusations, or they may have something against a contractor on a personal level. Regardless of the reason for false allegations of shoddy workmanship, these cases must be handled carefully.

Commercial property inspection checklist: Know what to look for

Are you in the process of buying commercial property? Are you overseeing a commercial construction project?

Although you hope that the building will pass an inspection with flying colors, there's no way of knowing for sure until you take a closer look.

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Castro & Associates
11766 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 250
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Phone: 310-966-6060
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