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Construction Defects

Wilmington Construction Defect Attorneys

Wilmington Law Firm Experienced With Architectural and Design Defects

The skillful construction and design of buildings can yield beauty, productivity, comfort and fun - and costly problems can result when negligence or faulty materials come into play.

Rhine Law Firm, P.C., represents individual homeowners, homeowners associations, commercial owners, developers and other parties in construction defect matters. Joel Rhine, our lead civil litigation attorney, is nationally recognized on the subject of construction defects and has taught other lawyers at continuing legal education seminars around the country.

Leaders in Construction Defect Litigation

We maintain an extensive construction litigation practice against developers, contractors, manufacturers of defective building materials and design professionals of all disciplines regarding every facet of the construction process. Our firm has gained an excellent reputation as a leader in the individual and class-action representation of homeowners in water intrusion cases, synthetic stucco (EIFS) matters and other cases involving defective building products.

With a stable of leading experts in the construction industry who can quickly and efficiently evaluate the condition of a structure and help us determine whether grounds for a lawsuit exist, our capabilities extend beyond what is typical for a smaller law firm. Our seasoned trial lawyers have successfully taken on large defendants, winning significant settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients. Our capabilities extend to:

  • Problems in design, including engineering, architectural and surveying issues
  • Defective or toxic building materials, including Chinese drywall, paint, plumbing fixtures and other products
  • Construction defects resulting from builders not following specs or not building to code
  • Environmental testing issues, including improper soil testing
  • Resorts, hotels and commercial developments
  • Single-family homes that are uninhabitable or compromised
  • Large residential developments
  • Hurricane construction standards

The Requirements of a Successful Construction Defect Claim

To be successful in filing a construction defect claim, it will be necessary to fully establish that a builder, architect, or other party was negligent in providing services to you. To prove this fact often requires getting the help of expert witnesses. These witnesses must be fully qualified in their field, respected for their knowledge and expertise, and able to discuss industry standards, and describe deviations and errors in construction practices in clear language. They must be fully versed in the methods, processes, and the materials used in the construction of the property in question.

A construction expert can evaluate issues such as:

  • Building code violations
  • Governmental regulation violations
  • Structural engineering factors
  • Construction defects
  • Standards of care in construction

Our construction experts have:

  • Hands-on experience in construction
  • Knowledge of scientific testing methods
  • Capability to present a compelling challenge to data provided by other experts
  • Knowledge of the legal processes in construction litigation (mediation, arbitration, trial)

Statute of Limitations and Statutes of Repose in Construction Defect Cases

Regardless of the strength of the case, an owner can have their construction defect claim dismissed because they failed to file suit within short timelines. These results are harsh and we caution you to consider the limitations in your decision-making. The first limitation is called a Statute of Limitation, and requires that you file your lawsuit within three years from the date the injury, loss, defect or damage becomes apparent or ought reasonably to have become apparent to the claimant. However, the statute of repose will bar any action that is brought more than six years from the later of the specific last act or omission or substantial completion.

These time restrictions are very difficult to avoid even though latent construction defects are not evident initially, but show up years after construction is completed. Cases of fraud and willful or wanton negligence and when the Defendant controlled the claim (such as a developer during the period of Declarant Control) may allow for more time, but these exceptions are factually specific. Please do not let these time periods run- you have a legal obligation not to “Sleep on your rights.”

The most crucial issue to resolve is selecting a construction defect lawyer that will take on your case and who will provide you with the highest level of legal skill, determination, and professionalism in negotiations or in court. The first step is to get your case reviewed by our construction defect lawyer at the Rhine Law Firm, P.C. Our litigators have an impressive record of success, and stand ready to serve you.

Water Damage: Water Intrusion Property Damage Claims

Some properties have been heavily damaged by water intrusion, directly related to a construction defect. The first issue to address is determining the cause, as the water damage could be the result of a flashing deficiencies, errors in applying the weather resistant barrier beneath cladding, leaky windows, faulty HVAC system, defective plumbing, or design flaws. At our firm, we have access to respected experts to evaluate your property and identify the cause of the water damage. Once identified, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against all negligent parties.

A Cause of Action in a Construction Defect Case

Most construction claims filed are one of the following causes of action:

  • Breach of contract
  • Breach of warranty
  • Negligence (in injury cases)
  • Strict liability
  • Professional negligence
  • Breach of implied warranty in design

Condominium Defect Cases

In cases involving condo construction defects, it is imperative that your attorney is well-versed in these actions. North Carolina has a specific statute that deals with condominium claims and numerous tricky issues abound. For example, the proper plaintiff must be named and this depends, in part, on the type of defect and what the Declarations state. Condo owners who want to bring claims on behalf of the condo association must be exceptionally careful about naming the defendant accurately, or could be facing problems, including having a valid case dismissed and being forced to pay the defendant’s legal fees. Ensure you have top level legal representation for any condo defect case.

Additional Information

Our Promise to You

  • National Practice with a Local Presence
  • Hundreds of Millions of Dollars Won
  • Over 30 Years of Experience
  • Experienced, Thorough & Dedicated Attorneys
  • Spanish-Speaking Services Available
  • Evening & Weekend Appointments Available Upon Request

We're Always Available for Our Clients

Contact our Wilmington attorneys at (910) 501-2474 to schedule an appointment with a seasoned Wilmington attorney regarding construction defects. Office hours 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Evening and weekend appointments also available.

  • “Joel Rhine and his staff did everything possible to help us in a very dark period of our lives.”

    - John
  • “We were blessed to have them fighting for us and never giving up.”

    - Stewart
  • “Joel and Chris were there for us in every need.”

    - Mary
  • “Rhine Law Firm has a friendly, caring, professional staff and they worked hard for me.”

    - Becky
  • “We were very pleased with the outcome of working with Rhine Law Firm.”

    - Former Client
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