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Florida Construction Law News

29AUG 2013

Construction Law Trial Win: Complete Defense Verdict in Nine-Week Construction Defect Trial

by Thomas Shea

The Florida law firm of Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A. is pleased to announce that two of its construction lawyers (George Truitt and Dan Levin) obtained a complete defense verdict in a hotly-contested construction defect case after nine weeks of trial. The trial commenced on May 10, 2013, and finished on August 2, 2013.

Background of the Construction Defect Case

Complete Defense Verdict in Construction Defect Case
Complete Defense Verdict in Construction Defect Case

The Plaintiffs were billionaires who purchased a home on Palm Beach Island for $43 million. Shortly after moving in, they complained of water intrusion and mold. After months of investigation, they reskinned the home, replacing the roof, stucco, doors and windows for a total of more than $12 million, without interest or attorney’s fees. Their demand never dropped below $13 million to settle the case.

Cole, Scott & Kissane’s Construction Law Division, through George Truitt and Dan Levin, represented the roofing contractor who installed the roofs. Our construction lawyers defended the claims for alleged code violations by attacking the veracity of the wind uplift test results and by impeaching the credibility of the Plaintiffs’ expert and their general contractor on financial bias and overall lack of credibility of their positions.

Strong Points for the Defense

A particularly strong point for the defense was the refusal of Plaintiffs and their expert to allow the Defendants to witness the testing of the roof, windows, and doors. Another strong point for the defense was the Plaintiffs’ insistence on claiming as damages obvious betterments, including a new roof that cost almost twice as much as the original and windows and doors that cost four times more than the original product installed.

George Truitt and Dan Levin obtained a defense verdict on Plaintiffs’ direct claims for violations of the Florida Building Code and the general contractor’s cross claims for breach of contract and common law indemnity.

Posted By Thomas Shea