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Florida Construction Law Blog

Can you sue for a breach of a business contract?

If you're a Florida construction company owner, you are probably all-too-familiar with the many ways that a contract dispute with another business owner can land you in legal hot water. Perhaps the supplier of the sinks for your apartment complex went belly-up and left you with a bunch of unfinished bathrooms.

Or perhaps the supplier delivered the sinks, but they were two weeks late, which caused logistical nightmares for the rest of the subcontractors on your project.

New crane operator regulations proposed

Florida contractors may have already learned that in May, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed a new crane safety regulation.

This additional rule would add new elements when determining whether crane operators were sufficiently competent and make employers responsible for ensuring they hire only qualified operators.

Is BIM a part of your business model?

If you're a contractor here in Fort Lauderdale, you realize that construction disputes can threaten to derail even the most well-planned builds. In fact, a recent report from Arcadis, a consultancy and design firm, claims that two of the most common reasons for construction disputes are unsubstantiated claims and errors and omissions.

An average dispute takes more than a year to resolve. That's money down the drain for contractors, because in the construction industry, time equals money.

Protect your bottom line in a contract dispute

Contractors realize that time is money. Many issues can bog a project down and shave profits — weather delays, labor strikes and worker shortages, cost overruns, delays, plan changes and nonpayments.

But perhaps the biggest cash bleed is contract disputes. Almost nothing short of a stop-work order can bring a project to its knees the way a contract dispute can. But the good news is that the vast majority of these disputes can be avoided by drafting comprehensive contracts that have detailed plans for nearly every possible contingency.

Airport construction booming in Broward County

With the economy humming along at a good pace, there's a construction boom going on in South Florida. A prime example of that is the proposed expansion of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

At present, there are approximately $3.2 billion of ongoing improvements and developments planned for the airport. It's expected that the airport and the areas surrounding it will be an active construction zone for the next two decades. Proposed projects include the development near U.S. 1 of an intermodal center with an above-ground people mover that winds around the terminals and connects passengers to other modes of transportation, potentially including Brightline.

How do construction disputes typically arise?

Broward County contractors often go the extra mile to smooth over disputes with their clients and avoid the hassle and expense of litigation. But there are times when it's important to take a stance on these matters and fight back.

Below are some of the common scenarios from which construction litigation arises.

Don't fall into the kickback trap

If you're a contractor, chances are good that you've seen your share of grifters in the industry. They may glad-hand you when they see you on the job site, but behind the scenes, they're backstabbing you by rigging the bids and padding the bills by taking or accepting kickbacks.

It's a contractor's nightmare to get caught up in these type of illegal shenanigans. Not only could you potentially expose yourself to federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) violations, your good name — and that of your company — could be sullied as well.

Address construction disputes legally and right away

There are few owners of construction companies who will escape their careers unscathed by some type of legal issue. From labor disputes with workers to breaches of contracts with suppliers or dissatisfied customers, the industry is fraught with ways to run afoul of Florida's civil laws.

Then, too, are the different jurisdictions to consider. From abiding by local building codes to following state employment laws to ensuring compliance with federal safety mandates, a construction company owner has to stay abreast of all changes and modifications to the laws.

Lawsuits filed after Miami-Dade bridge collapse

In the latest development of the Miami-Dade bridge collapse, the attorney for the parents of one student who attended Florida International University (FIU) filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Named defendants include multiple companies that worked on the manufacture and installation of the failed span.

Another lawsuit was also recently filed in this case. One passenger in the deceased student's crushed vehicle who survived has also filed a petition for damages. Named defendants include Munilla Construction Management and FIGG Bridge Engineers.

Accused of construction defects? It can get costly

It's important that construction company owners and builders understand that to the homeowner, they are the literal last line of defense against a defective end product. As such, they may face legal liabilities if a defect is discovered at some future point.

In order to be able to build a credible defense against any allegations of shoddy worksmanship, it helps to understand all of the factors that can cause a defect.

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