Construction Law: Eugene Construction Defect Litigation Attorneys

Mike with an expert witnesses at the scene of a cliff fall fatality as seen on CBS 48 Hours.

Eugene, Oregon-based civil litigation trial attorney Mike Arnold brings a unique and broad litigation background to assist clients in obtaining their desired results.. For instance Mike utilizes witnesses to assist in breach of contract claims and complex civil litigation to determine causation. He thinks beyond litigation and court and goes to the extent of advising clients to resolve their disputes through pre-litigation negotiations. This is predicated on knowing the facts and the specific industry at the core of the business dispute. Make has established contacts with structural and material engineers who assist in analyzing the benefits of your claims or defenses.

The main reasons for construction defect cases are:

  • A defective design of the property (i.e., improperly designed soundproofing of walls at a condominium).
  • Defective workmanship (i.e., improper installation of roofing that resulted in water damage).
  • Defective materials (i.e., water piping failing where it joins plumbing fixtures).

Solving the complicated interplay between the developers, architects/designers, general contractors, subcontractors, experts, insurance companies, and the law is required to resolve these cases.

Preventing Construction Defect Litigation

For a smooth working relationship and easy follow-up at a later stage, it is important for both Oregon property owners and Oregon contractors/buildings alike to keep good records of the scope of work and to also document conversations. For instance, after every conversation the builder should send an email saying, “This confirms our conversation today at your property in Eugene, Oregon, wherein I advised you to [spend the extra money on fill to prevent possible future problems with XYX].” Assume that if it isn’t in writing, it didn’t happen. You don’t need to be hostile about it; just make a record so everyone is clear.

When to Hire a Construction Dispute Attorney

Spending a little money upfront to hire an attorney BEFORE hiring an expert allows you to protect the expert’s opinion as confidential attorney work product in the event litigation occurs. Also, the analysis of insurance coverage issues is something that should be done at the outset.

Insurance Coverage Issues in Construction Cases

Out of all the issues, the one which holds highest importance is that whether or not there is insurance to cover the purported construction defect. This is equally important for the home owner, sub-contractor and the builder as well. A thorough look at the terms and conditions of construction defect insurance policies will bring to light how cleverly the insurance companies will ensure only those people who will probably never use insurance are actually covered. They are replete with exclusions and exceptions to the exclusions. A more detailed discussion of insurance coverage issues can be found here.

Civil Litigation Lawyers – Practical Experience

Mike designed and built a greenhouse with recycled windows.

The goal for every business or construction dispute is for your attorney to get deep into your case and acquire more information than the opposing party, their attorney, the judge and the opposing experts. Your trial attorney begins this investigation by visiting the property as much as required so that the unnecessary costs in the long run are cut down. We have seen first-hand what happens when opposing counsel visits the property for the first time as trial is looming: cases settle way later than they need to at much greater expense. Know your facts!

Mike Arnold is an experienced trial lawyer having honed his skills before juries in civil and criminal cases involving complex issues and expert witnesses. Mike has travelled to various sites with experts to have first-hand experience with the case, because he knows that every case rises and falls with facts. He has been with a forensic expert in the hay loft of a barn examining bullet hole trajectories, walked property lines with surveyors, crawled around crawlspaces to view foundation cracks, and on and on. If your real property or construction defect lawyer has soft office hands, run away.

Mike has earned the practical knowledge on how any person can over-engineer a building project on his own family farm projects. He has had this experience countless times from designing and building a greenhouse (pictured above) to quail coop to wooden rock cairns (rock jacks if you are from Klamath County), all which should outlive his grandchildren. However, it takes a skilled engineer and builder to cost effectively design and build something to last the Oregon rainy seasons.

There is a fine art of fine building and it is a tightrope walk that leads to many unanswered questions if construction design or defect issues arise later. Was it the property owner that cut corners disregarding advice of the designer or builder? Was it an error by the architect, engineer, builder, or a sub?

Contact Oregon civil litigation attorney Mike Arnold to see if he can assist you with these issues in a practical cost-effective manner. Call/text 541-797-0110 or fill out the contact form.