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Mid-Atlantic Civil Litigation Defense Firm

Don't let mold become a problem

If you own and manage a building, one of your many responsibilities is to exercise reasonable care to enhance the safety of the premises. One of the most important aspects of this responsibility is to exercise reasonable care to minimize the threat of dangerous mold on the property.

Should certain types of mold become an issue in your building, it could be extremely costly to repair and could risk the health of your tenants. However, there are many ways to safeguard your property, prevent mold and protect your interests.

A case study in the importance of teamwork in construction defect defense

Readers in the District of Columbia Metropolitan Area undoubtedly know of the Silver Spring Transit Center, a construction project famous for wide-ranging, complicated disputes. The center's owners (Montgomery County and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) sued the designer, inspector and general contractor for more than $75 million for allegedly defective design and construction.

Unsurprisingly, this set off a series of claims and counterclaims, including a lawsuit filed by general contractor Foulger-Pratt Contracting, LLC (FPC) against its concrete subcontractor.

Construction defect defense: privity

It is not a word many of us use in everyday conversation: privity. But this legal term is important in discussions of contracts because there must be "privity" - a legally recognized interest in the same matter - for one party (a property owner) to sue another (a general contractor).

In some situations, a property owner and general contractor do not both have legally recognized interests in the same matter. In those circumstances, the contractor can have an absolute defense against construction defect claims - even when the construction was flawed.

State Supreme Court issues 'victory for construction subcontractors'

For those in the construction industry wondering if the exponential growth in construction defect claims will continue unabated, there continues to be hopeful signs here and there that courts are looking at relevant statutes with new eyes.

We read recently of such an example in a report about the Illinois Supreme Court overturning decades of precedent in holding that buyers of new homes cannot pursue breach of implied warranty claims against subcontractors when there's no contractual relationship between them.

Maximizing efforts to minimize allegations

Virtually every company faces liability litigation at some point because no one can anticipate an unpredictable problem. But what if there were a technology available that would allow businesses to predict the unpredictable?

Everyone in the construction and building management industries knows that small issues can escalate quickly into widespread problems. However, in some instances, there are steps you can take before such problems transpire. There is a new technology in development that will allow companies to control their possible liabilities before they become a problem.

Part II: Construction defects case hinges on purchase agreement

In a previous blog post, we wrote about an interesting case involving a developer, contractor and a general release in a purchase agreement.

A quick recap: a company referred to as Verdugo agreed to make improvements to an 85-unit apartment complex, but its work included construction defects in flashing and counterflashing that resulted in water leaks - and it allegedly knew of the defects.

Part I: Construction defects case hinges on purchase agreement

We read recently of a construction law dispute that involves a developer, contractor and a general release. The case began back in 2005 when Variel Warner Ventures, LLC agreed to a construction contract with Verdugo Management & Investment, Inc. for improvements in an apartment complex.

As part of the contract, Verdugo agreed to make good, workmanlike improvements to the 85-unit complex. However, according to a recent article on the case, the company's work included construction defects. The article states that the contractor knew "the work was defectively flashed, counterflashed, and waterproofed." Read on, because the contractor and developer prevailed in this case.

Anticipating Construction Industry Legal Issues for 2019

A new year is upon us, which means it is the perfect time to look back at what went right and wrong in 2018 and to look forward to what can be reasonably expected and planned for in 2019. A recent "Builder" magazine article helps readers anticipate legal issues likely to surface for those in the construction industry over the next 12 months.

"The start of a new year is a good time to reflect on challenges and weaknesses in order to prevent litigation," the writer states, noting that "proactive planning and management" can help firms and individuals to avoid construction defect litigation in many (but not all) situations.

Placing blame is easy, finding fault is not

The legal basis for any civil lawsuit is the answer to the question of "who is at fault." While that may certainly seem to be a simple question, it is in finding the answer where civil law has rightfully earned its reputation for complexity.

A recent lawsuit filed against a casino in Oxon Hill, Maryland is a perfect example of the intricacy of fault. The facts of the case are relatively straightforward: a young girl swinging on a handrail at the casino received an electrical shock and debilitating injuries. Her family just last month filed a lawsuit claiming that the casino was at fault. But was it?

MacDonald Law Group Attorneys Recognized by Maryland Super Lawyers!

MacDonald Law Group Attorneys, Neil J. MacDonald and Maria E. Flaks are recognized in the January 2019 edition of Maryland's Super Lawyers magazine. Mr. MacDonald is designated a "Super Lawyer" in the primary practice field of product liability defense. Ms. Flaks is honored as a "Rising Star", also in the area of product liability defense. Thomson Reuters publishes this annual directory of outstanding lawyers who meet certain requirements for professional achievement and who have attained recognition by their peers. Only 5% of attorneys in Maryland receive this distinction. Congratulations to MacDonald Law Group's honorees! 

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MacDonald Law Group, LLC

MacDonald Law Group, LLC
11720 Beltsville Drive, Suite 1050
Beltsville, Maryland 20705

Phone: 301-960-5864
Fax: 877-654-2658
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