Construction litigation is a specialized field requiring in-depth knowledge of the many dimensions of the building industry. It often couples contractual issues typical of general commercial litigation with the technical aspects of product liability cases. While extensive investigation is required to learn the true cause of a structural failure, careful analysis of construction documents is also needed to minimize our clients' exposure.
Our experience in construction litigation also includes prosecuting and defending claims by contractors and subcontractors for payment and the foreclosure of mechanics' liens.
Supporting our clients from the ground up.
Examples of significant cases our attorneys have handled include:
- After the catastrophic failure of a bridge carrying a major interstate highway, the New York Thruway Authority filed a suit for $114 million against the firms that designed and constructed the Schoharie Creek Bridge. We were retained to defend the general contractor, a world-class heavy construction firm.
Through extensive pre-trial discovery, we established that the probable cause of the failure was defective design of the bridge foundation by the Thruway Authority's consultant, with inadequate maintenance and inspection by Thruway staff a contributing factor.
The Thruway Authority discontinued the action without taking any depositions from the contractor's employees, in accordance with a settlement providing a relatively modest payment to the Thruway Authority and retracting fraud allegations against our client.
- When a post-tensioned concrete roof system collapsed during construction of a university athletic complex, we were engaged by the general contractor to prosecute its claim for delay damages and to defend against claims asserted by others.
Pre-trial testimony established that the failure resulted from a defect in the design of a coupling system connecting post-tensioning cables in the segmented roof girders. We negotiated a seven-figure settlement on behalf of our client and its subcontractors.
- Our client, a blasting contractor, was hired to blast rock in the bed of the Hudson River at an oil terminal dock. The contract required blasting to a specified depth and specified that the owner would dredge and remove blasted rock. When the owner was unable to dredge to the specified depth, a dispute arose as to whether the problem was due to inadequate blasting or faulty dredging.
We recovered payment in full for the contractor after a trial established that our client had correctly performed its work and that the owner's dredging equipment and methods were inadequate.
- During rehabilitation of a lock and dam on the Champlain Canal, a faulty cofferdam caused extensive flooding of the Village of Whitehall. We were engaged by a nearby manufacturing firm which sustained heavy losses when its factory was inundated by six feet of floodwaters.
We filed suit against the State of New York on behalf of the manufacturer and recovered a judgment for our client and its insurers in excess of $4 million.
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