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Who is Ultimately Responsible for Design Errors on a Construction Project?

In any given commercial construction project in South Florida, there are many key players who have a seat at the table. In addition to the project owner, this often includes the general contractor, architect, engineer, real estate partners, financial partners and others.

Everyone plays a role in ensuring the build is successfully completed, but when something goes wrong, the tables can turn.

Design errors or construction defects can pose significant threats to the building’s integrity and safety. They can also lead to major repercussions for those involved.

If a design error is discovered on a construction project (even years after the project is completed), who ultimately takes the blame? The answer will of course depend on the situation, but there are a few possible outcomes to consider.

Liability for Design Errors

Often construction litigation related to design errors involves a few main parties:

● The contractor

● The designer, including the architect and/or engineer

● The owner

Every situation is unique so there’s no one answer, but if any party fails to uphold their obligations and responsibilities, they may find themselves liable.

For example, if a GC complies with design plans yet knows the plans or a specification was defective, they could face trouble, as they have a duty to raise red flags if they spot any potential deficiencies.

Likewise, if an architect miscalculates figures or produces work that is not in compliance, they may be liable for the design error and the consequences that emerge.

Moreover, there are also situations in which an owner can be liable for design flaws if, or instance, they provide inaccurate information related to the building site or misuse the property after construction.

Disputes related to construction in South Florida can touch every aspect of the build process. It’s important to protect your interests with strong construction agreements and equally tough legal representation.

If a client makes a legal claim against you, it is crucial to have the best team on your side. At Quintana Law, PA, we represent general contractors throughout the tri-county area, from Miami to Palm Beach and beyond. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to see how we can help you.


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