Case Study: Building Department "Drops The Ball"
By: Mr. Clinton Ford
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Through a referral from an Architect, a school teacher called Clinton J. Ford P.A. with questions concerning the construction of their new two-story home. After a lengthy conversation the Owners requested that Clinton J. Ford P.A. come to the site and review their architectural plans for compliance.
During the initial inspection and contract document review, Clinton J. Ford P.A. was able to identify numerous deviations from Building Codes, omissions from Architects Plans & Specifications, and errors in the installation of specific manufactured products. In addition, Clinton J. Ford P.A. had to spend several hours with the Owners, proving that the entire second floor had not been constructed in accordance with the Sealed Architectural Plans and Specifications. In addition the Residential Contractor filed a fraudulent FS 713 Construction Lien against the Owners property for non-payment.
The aforementioned discoveries lead to the generation of a detailed report to be used to litigate against the contractor. Thereafter, a site meeting was held with the Building Official from the county building department, the Residential Contractor and the Owners. A two hour recorded statement was taken by Clinton J. Ford P.A. from the Residential Contractor which produced incriminating evidence. The statement was subsequently transcribed for the case to be used as evidence.
After the completion of the recorded statement and the departure of the Residential Contractor, the Building Official voiced his outraged opinion concerning the number of code violations and other adverse problems that were discovered with the building. At the end of the meeting, the Building Official just kept repeating "We Dropped The Ball On This One", knowing all along that his Department was protected by sovereign immunity.
Since the Owner had not retained an attorney, we therefore recommended one who we had a good working relationship with on current cases. Because of the overwhelming evidence gathered through investigation and inspection by Clinton J. Ford P.A. the Residential Contractor finally waived his $75,000 dollar lien in order to dismiss the case.
In conclusion Clinton J. Ford P.A. with the help of the Attorney was able to substantiate the gross defective workmanship and poor legal position that the Residential Contractor was in. The aforementioned brought a quick closure to the dispute and therefore avoided costly litigation. The Attorney benefited by having all the facts that were pertinent to the claim, aid and assistance during the progression of the claim without maintaining expensive staff and overhead and the additional income from the referral.
Clinton J. Ford, MS, CGC, ACA, CIE, has over 24 years of experience as a State Certified General Contractor. He provides consulting support to clients and or attorneys who need assistance during Pre-trial and or Trial, pre or post termination of contractor, investigation of contractor or sub-contractors, licensure issues, permitting issues and or other.
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