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Can I Sue for the Use of Substandard Materials?

Miguel A. Brizuela, P.A.  Oct. 12, 2023

On June 24th, 2021, Champlain Towers South, a 12-story beachfront condominium in Surfside, Florida, partially collapsed, causing 98 deaths and leaving 11 others injured. The use of substandard quality materials to execute construction projects is among the root causes of building collapse. In some cases, the property owner may spend hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to fix the issues or potential issues due to the substandard materials used for the building construction. 

If you believe that the use of substandard materials has led to issues or possible issues with your building in Florida, you may be entitled to seek relief through a claim or lawsuit. At Miguel A. Brizuela, P.A., we are ready to counsel clients in their construction litigation matters. Our trusted Florida construction law attorney can represent you diligently in your lawsuit, seek to hold the non-compliant contractor liable, and help you recover what you deserve. 

Set up a consultation with us today. We're proud to serve clients across Miami, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

Understanding Substandard Materials

Substandard materials are materials and components used in building constructions that fail to meet or comply with the minimum required standards set forth by applicable state building codes for the construction of residential and commercial buildings. 

Unfortunately, substandard materials in buildings usually pose significant safety risks and may result in potential injuries, property damages, penalties, and fines. Likewise, it will compromise the integrity of a construction project, make the property unsafe, and affect the performance of the building and its systems. 

Examples of Common Substandard Materials in Construction

Here are some examples of substandard materials used in building construction: 

  • Concrete with variations in its color and texture 

  • Thinner, lighter, or non-magnetic steel 

  • Roofing materials with light weight 

  • Plumbing materials with wear and tear or slightly different dimensions 

  • Wood with inconsistent pattern or texture 

If you believe that a contract used substandard materials in your building construction, you should reach out to a reliable construction litigation attorney immediately. Your legal counsel can investigate the materials used, decide if you have a claim, and take the necessary legal action against the contractor. 

Legal Implications in Florida

According to Florida construction laws and regulations, general contractors, builders, subcontractors, and materials suppliers must obey all zoning, permit, building code, and materials requirements when starting or executing a construction project. In the event that a contractor, builder, or any other party involved in the construction project fails to use quality materials, they may be held liable for any injuries, damages, or losses suffered by the homeowner or other persons. 

Material Violations of the Florida Building Code

Under Florida law, a material violation occurs when a building code violation in a building project may result in physical injury or actual harm to a person or affect the property's performance as well as its systems. Depending on the outcome of the case, the judge may impose penalties, fines, and citations on the contractor. The contractor's professional license may also be suspended. In addition, the building owner will be awarded relief for damages and losses suffered due to the material violation. 

Potential Legal Recourse

If you have been affected by substandard materials used in your construction project, it’s natural to feel frustrated. Thankfully, you have options. You may be able to take the following civil actions against the contractor: 

  • File a breach of contract claim 

  • File a negligence claim 

  • File a breach of warranty claim 

Filing any of the above claims can help you recover damages to cover both financial and non-financial losses incurred from the substandard materials used in your construction project. An experienced lawyer can advise you about your possible options to seek legal recourse and determine the best way to proceed with your claims. 

Statute of Limitations

Here are the applicable statutes of limitations for filing claims related to substandard materials in Florida: 

  • Negligence claims – two years 

  • Construction defects – four years 

  • Material violations of the Florida building code – four years 

  • Statute of repose for construction claims – seven years 

No matter the specifics of your case, it’s important to seek out reliable construction law representation in order to hold the negligent contractor liable. 

Trusted and Experienced Legal Guidance

Construction litigation can be complex, especially in Florida. At Miguel A. Brizuela, P.A., we're dedicated to offering skilled legal counsel to clients in construction lawsuits involving building code violations and the use of substandard materials. Our attorney will investigate your case details and gather substantial evidence to prove contractor negligence. In addition, we will fight for your rights and help you pursue legal remedies for injuries, damages, losses, or additional expenses incurred. 

Contact us at Miguel A. Brizuela, P.A., today to schedule a case assessment with a construction litigation attorney. We're proud to serve clients across Miami and surrounding areas throughout Florida, including West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and the rest of the state.