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Pennsylvania Construction Design Errors & Defects Attorney

Building design and construction is a very complex process with numerous individuals and entities participating over the lifecycle of a project. After the owner, design professionals are typically the most active participants during a construction project, providing not only design specifications but also consulting services, as well as administering the construction contract and even serving as an initial dispute neutral. So, when design errors and defects in the inception and/or execution of a construction project arise, problems—top to bottom, inside and out—can quickly affect all aspects of the project. At Davis Bucco, our construction law attorneys work to resolve claims involving design errors and defects efficiently and advantageously for our clients.

Standard of Care for Design Professionals in the Construction Industry

The law requires design professionals, including architects and engineers, to practice with the standard of care expected of design professionals. That standard of care is defined as the level of skill and competence ordinarily and contemporaneously demonstrated by professionals of the same discipline, practicing in the same location, and faced with the same or similar facts and circumstances. Regardless of the myriad roles and responsibilities that design professionals take in their practice—from consultant to administrator to construction manager—they are always legally held to this standard of care.

Types of Design Errors & Defects

Design errors and defects can negatively affect construction project performance and contribute to failures, accidents, and injuries. Types of design errors and defects include inadequate structural design as well as poor design details, such as:

  • Abrupt changes in section
  • Insufficient reinforcement at corners and openings
  • Inadequate provision for deflection
  • Inadequate provision for drainage
  • Insufficient travel in expansion joints
  • Incompatibility of materials
  • Neglect of creep effect
  • Rigid joints between precast units
  • Unanticipated shear stresses in piers, columns, or abutments
  • Inadequate joint spacing in slabs

Most design professionals have general liability insurance and professional liability insurance policies (often referred to as E&O insurance) to cover the cost of negligent performance of their services. When design professionals engage subconsultants to handle portions of the services they are required to perform—which is common in the industry—ultimate responsibility for design errors and defects remains with the primary design professional and the liability policy(ies) this individual or entity has. The construction law attorneys at Davis Bucco are attuned to the roles of design professionals, their insurance coverage, and state and federal laws that affect their practice and performance.

Consult with a Lawyer Experienced in Design Errors & Defects

For more information about handling design errors and defects, as well as the legal claims arising from design errors and defects, please contact Davis Bucco to speak with an experienced Pennsylvania construction law attorney. As your consultant and advocate, we will determine the course of action that is most beneficial to you and your business operations.

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