Construction defect litigation

Exceptional mastery of Construction Defect litigation, with 33 years experience and $190 million in jury verdict awards, $72 million in punitive damages awarded and millions more in settlements.
  • Overview

Construction defects pose a significant threat to the investment value and marketability of real estate. Construction defects arise in the course of design and construction and are invariably caused by poor workmanship, lack of supervision and oversight and negligence on the part of builders and contractors. These builders and contractors are legally responsible for their work and can be held financially accountable. You, the owner or investor have rights under the law and do not have to bear the financial burden of the cost to repair defects, remedy property damage, or loss of value or use, and can hold the builder and contractor’s liable. 

  • Our Experience

Timothy Norton of Norton & Associates specializes holding builders, developers and contractors liable for construction defects they have created. With 33 years experience in construction defect litigation and $190 million in construction defect jury verdict awards, Timothy Norton has a proven record of success and decades of experience aggressively pursuing construction defect claims against builders, developers and contractors, and recovering millions in awards and settlements on behalf of his clients. 

  • Case Factors

The strength and value of your case depends on a lot of factors:

  • Nature and extent of the defects
  • Value of the property
  • And importantly, the skill, focus, commitment, work ethic, perseverance and ingenuity of the attorney handling your case.

A detailed evaluation of your claim will demonstrate the following: 

  • Our approach, including an assessment of the defects and the applicable statutes of limitation
  • An indication of the possible scope of expert investigation that may be required
  • An understanding and insight into the contracts and documents surrounding the case and the property
  • The potential liability and financial viability of the target builder-defendants, as well as a roadmap to recovery.

And, more than any other firm, this endeavor and its ultimate success will be guided and led at all times exclusively by Timothy Norton personally.

  • Law of Construction Defect

A basic overview of the law of construction defect in California is instructive. Generally speaking, the outside time limit to bring a claim for latent or hidden construction defects in California is 10 years from the date of substantial completion of the structure. So in essence, these claims are limited to new construction, or construction completed within the last 10 years. However, once an owner becomes aware of defects, they are required to file their suit within 3 years of discovering the defects for a claim for damage to real property, or for fraud, and within 4 years of discovering the breach for a claim for breach of contract. With this in mind, when defects or problems come to your attention, it’s important to act promptly and  file suit to preserve your rights.

  • What is Defect

In terms of the defects themselves and just what is a defect: A defect is any failure to design, build or construct any building or component of a building according to industry standards, including the building codes. This includes every part of the structure as well as the unified whole from the ground up:

  • Soils and Grading
  • Retaining Walls and Subsurface Drainage
  • Foundations Structural Walls
  • Windows, Doors and All Openings
  • Roofs
  • Decks
  • Patios
  • Swimming Pools
  • Paved Areas
  • Garages
  • Sidewalks
  • Landscaping
  • Electrical
  • HVAC
  • Plumbing
  • Sound & Low Voltage
  • Seismic
  • Fire
  • Waterproofing
  • Stucco and Plastering
  • All Other Components and Systems

As a practical matter, one sure sign of defects are water leaks and water intrusion. This is not only a glaring defect and a violation of the building code and every industry standard, but it is also a sign of poor supervision and lack of quality control and a sign that there may be other significant defects in other areas of the building. Establishing the scope and severity of the defects is a key component of our analysis.

  • Components

The other key component of this analysis is the investigation and evaluation of the financial viability of the target defendants, the builder, contractor and subcontractors. This evaluation is backed up in the initial stage of the lawsuit by requiring the builder and contractor defendants to provide copies of their insurance policies and the types and extent of their insurance coverage, which they are required to produce. This information is vital.

This comprehensive defect and claims valuation and financial analysis forms the basis for pursuing the lawsuit, and more specifically, settlement negotiations, noting that the pressure on the target parties to negotiate and settle comes only when they see a demonstrated willingness to take these defendants to trial, an existing trial date that forces the defendants to take the matter seriously, aggressive preparation for trial and the use of damages calculations and assessments of the insurance policies to drive the case toward a resolution.  Resolution requires a knowledge of mediation and negotiation tactics and strategy, familiarity with the best mediators, insurance coverage, timing, selective settlement with lesser parties, and, of course, a readiness to take the matter to trial. 

$190

million jury verdict awards

$72

million punitive damages awards

33

years experience

Norton & Associates has locations in Manhattan Beach and downtown Los Angeles to serve you.

3 Steps to new cases

If you have construction defect issues and would like a consultation and in-depth analysis and evaluation of your claim, or if you have an ongoing case and would like a second opinion, call us today or fill up the form below for a consultation or appointment.

1   Schedule A Call

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