Leaning condominium leads to lawsuit

A condominium that is supposedly leaning by three inches has prompted the general contractor on the project to file suit against the property developer.

The lawsuit alleges that the high-rise condominium, which spans almost 60 stories, leans because of the fact that the project developer took shortcuts when laying foundation for the building. Specifically, the developer allegedly saved $6 million by not driving piles to reinforce the soil underneath the foundation.

Unfortunately, the unreinforced ground settled to the point where the building now leans. The contractor alleges that the building is not safe and could randomly shed small pieces, which will fall on to the street below. Leaks, spontaneously opening doors, uneven flooring, and even windows falling out of their frames are also potential concerns.

For its part, the developer says that the building is safe despite its leaning. The developer believes this accusation is a way for the contractor to avoid responsibility for poor workmanship on its part and also an excuse for the contractor to back out of the deal. The developer has announced plans to file a counterclaim against the contractor.

While this condominium project is underway in a city in another state, it illustrates the close relationship between construction law and condominium and homeowners association law. Construction issues like this frequently come up in Louisiana and Texas condominium projects whenever things go awry. As in this case, a developer may accuse a contractor of overall shoddy work on the project and demand appropriate compensation, while the contractor may blame the problem on unsafe site selection.

Construction issues like the one in the story here can be very difficult to sort out. It is usually important to have the help of experienced legal counsel in the even one's company is facing construction litigation.

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