Top 4 Disputes That Can Erupt into Florida Construction Contract Litigation
Written on January 18, 2021
It is common for any business owner to become involved in a contractual dispute, but the relevant legal issues can be more complicated when you are facing litigation over breach of a construction contract. Florida contractors, subcontractors, and design professionals can find themselves on either side of a disagreement, whether you are seeking to enforce your rights or defend your interests. Plus, these disputes often draw in developers, homeowners’ associations, and property owners, further intensifying the challenges.
If your company has been unable to resolve a dispute and an action for breach of construction contract is imminent, you should reach out to a Clearwater business litigation lawyer right away. Plus, you might find it useful to understand the types of disputes that can lead to a breach of contract lawsuit.
- Bond Claims: On public projects valued at $100,000 or more, which are funded by a state, county, local, or municipal government entity, contractors must comply with Florida’s “Little Miller Act.” This statute requires entities involved with the construction project to obtain a payment bond as a sort of insurance policy regarding their work. If there are disputes over work or payment, an aggrieved party can file a claim against the surety bond – which often results in litigation.
- Mechanic’s Liens: When contractors or materials suppliers do not receive agreed-upon funds related to a construction project, they can take advantage of Florida’s mechanic’s liens laws to secure payment. The lien acts as a security interest on the property, essentially adding an encumbrance. If a property owner would try to sell, the lien would be paid off through the proceeds.
- Construction Defects: Breach of contract litigation may also center on the quality of a construction project design, workmanship, or materials. The property owner may suffer financial losses to make repairs, but there are also damages related to loss of use and decreased value of the premises. You should note that there are strict rules regarding lawsuits based upon construction defects, since an aggrieved party is required to provide notice and opportunity for the contractor to repair – at least 60-120 days before initiating a lawsuit in court.
- Construction Delays: Construction is a process with many moving parts, with each subcontractor and skilled trade depending upon the previous work to get started on their own. One key challenge with these claims is whether the construction delay is truly a breach. The distinction between material and non-material breach may come into play. Slight variances may not be worth the time and hassle of taking the claim to court, especially when the party sustains minor monetary damage.
A Clearwater, FL Business Litigation Attorney Will Protect Your Interests
Besides being more complicated than other lawsuits, breach of construction contract litigation can be disruptive and take your focus away from running your company. For more information on how our team can help, please call Clearwater Business Law at (727) 785-5100 to set up a consultation. We represent business clients throughout Pinellas County, so we are ready to support your interests.