When a commercial building has a construction defect, it often results in costly repairs and lost revenue. Such is the case for our client, a dermatology provider, that suffered extensive water damage after a construction company failed to install proper barriers, thereby breaching its construction contract with the doctors office.
Our client filed a breach of contract lawsuit after suffering major water damage due to poor construction work. The plaintiff hired Alsal Construction to build its new office in April 2017. Under the terms of their contract, Alsal would be responsible for the construction of the new space and had to complete the work by December 2017.
Alsal continued its work on the offices through January 2018. During this time, employees were required to remain away from premises. Upon returning to their new office, the plaintiff identified substantial water leaks throughout the building that appeared to be coming from windows and window ledges, resulting in damage to the interior, exterior, and base of the building. The damage greatly affected the stucco, windows, walls, ceilings, baseboards, and flooring of the commercial structure. A lack of waterproof barriers and flashing caused sustained water damage.
After expressing its concerns to Aslal in March 2018, our client allowed time for the construction company to correct its work in order to mitigate the damage. However, Aslal only completed temporary repairs and failed to correct the main problems, despite assurances all defective areas would be fixed.
The plaintiff eventually began completing its own needed repairs out-of-pocket, soon finding out the building needed to be completely gutted to remedy the substantial water damage.
Aslal’s failure to perform its work as contractually obligated amounted to a breach of contract as well as multiple violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act (DTPA). This failure to perform, which included the failure to make completed repairs, directly caused harm and damage to plaintiff’s business. Because such a large portion of the property was considered uninhabitable, the plaintiff suffered a loss of revenue.
Understanding the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act
The Texas DTPA was enacted in 1973 and focuses on protecting consumers against false, misleading, and deceptive business and insurance practices, unconscionable actions, and breaches of warranty. The Texas DTPA does this by prohibiting certain acts and practices that may deceive or mislead consumers.
The DPTA protects consumers seeking a specific good or service. Consumers are required to prove they were misled or deceived under a certain DTPA provision. Those seeking damages under the DTPA must send a registered or certified letter of written notice identifying what’s wrong and/or the monetary damages sustained. In the event the service provider fails to provide the amount of damages within 60 days, a suit can be filed. If a court finds the conduct was intentional or knowing, the consumer may potentially be awarded up to three times the amount of economic damages.
Houston Commercial Property Damage Attorneys
When a construction company or contractor performs poor or faulty work, consumers may look to their insurance plans to get coverage for repairs. Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon for commercial property insurance disputes to remain unsettled for long periods of time. Working with an experienced attorney can help a business’ claims be honored.
At Raizner Slania LLP, our experienced commercial property damage attorneys have helped businesses across Texas and around the country as they struggle with insurance losses due to property damage. We understand your business is an investment and dealing with a commercial property damage claim can hurt not only your return on investment, but your livelihood as well. If you or someone you know has suffered damage to a commercial property and needs assistance, contact Raizner Slania LLP today for a free consultation.