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University says dorm's floor construction makes it ugly

While most of the construction litigation we discuss on this blog has to do with accusations of work that left the building crumbling or unsafe, that is not always the case. In the case we will discuss today, the plaintiff admits that the building the defendant firms worked on is perfectly safe. Instead, the case is about whether the builders’ work is nice to look at.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit is the University of Oregon, which hired a construction company, architect firm and consulting business to construct a dormitory on campus. The suit says the companies “failed to uphold their promise” of building a dorm that is easy to maintain and aesthetically pleasing, the Daily Emerald reports.

Instead, a university official wrote to residents in an email earlier this year, the dorm’s concrete floors were improperly constructed. The floors are “deflecting,” the email explained, causing stress on the floors, walls and ceiling, and possibly leading to cracks. According to the lawsuit, the floors have become uneven, which has affected use of the dorm’s doors, windows and furniture.

However, the university does not contend that the dorm is not unsafe for students and staff.

The consulting company was the only defendant to respond to the lawsuit as of May 27. That company agrees that the dorm was not constructed with adequate care, but denies responsibility.

With the university seeking more than $8.5 million in compensation, this could be expensive litigation for the construction company. Illinois builders know that big jobs sometimes lead to big legal headaches.

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