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Determining responsibility for building defects may not be easy

Whether building from the ground up or renovating an existing structure, it often takes the collaboration of numerous people with different areas of expertise to get the job done. For this reason, when building defects are discovered, it may be challenging to determine who bears responsibility for them. It may be necessary to involve an Illinois court in order to make the final determination.

For example, a defect in a library being constructed in the downtown area of a city in a southern state caused the balcony on the top floor of the building to collapse. The incident caused street shutdowns for safety reasons while repairs to the building were underway. The construction contractor claims that the defects were not in the construction, but in the design.

The balcony called for supports only on one side of the heavy structure. When two of the four supports for the balcony failed, it caused critical damage to the Baton Rouge, Louisiana library. A structural engineer is reviewing all of the construction and architectural information regarding the balcony to determine what went wrong and who is responsible. In the meantime, the construction delays may require changes to the contract, along with a request for additional funds.

When these types of building defects occur here in Illinois, having the incident and all relevant documentation reviewed by an expert may be a good starting point. A thorough investigation could reveal the parties who may bear legal responsibility for the problems. Once those parties are identified, it may be a good idea to initiate litigation against those parties in order to recover restitution for any financial losses and other damages caused by the defects.

Source:, "Contractors for downtown library deny culpability for construction failure, plan to seek additional money", Andrea Gallo, April 26, 2018

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