Recent PI claims against Builders

Construction Management Claims by Principals where the Builder is responsible for the Professional Input of Others

The Plaintiff entered into a contract with a builder to renovate her house. The renovation works included the re-stumping of the house. The builder sub-contracted the re-stumping of the house. The re-stumper requested the Surveyor to provide a building permit in relation to the re-stumping.The Plaintiff claimed that the re-stumping works were defective and sued the builder. The builder joined the re-stumper and the Surveyor to the proceedings.The case settled as the builder went into liquidation and the re-stumper had no insurance and no money. The Surveyor paid $20,000 as he had not adequately checked the depth of the stump holes for the re-stumping of the house.
Insurers seeking Contributors to their Claim Payments

A workers compensation insurer brought an action against a  builder who had designed and built a simple amusement ride.  An employee of the Amusement Park had injured their back and received a $600,000 award for injuries allegedly caused by the faulty design of the ride.

Builders incur Defence Costs when joined into an Action against a Professional
A builder has been joined in an action against a design consultant who alleged they were not at fault for the collapse of a sewerage system.  The builder thought they could rely upon the consultants Professional Indemnity Insurance however, those insurers proved hostile.While the builder liquidity is threatened by the extensive legal costs involved in proving their innocence

Buildings Not Matching Plans

A Builder constructed an apartment block according to plans.  When it came to construction of the balconies, the builder slightly modified the size of the balconies due to practical construction requirements.  The buildings were sold off the plan and, following construction, some investors used this slight difference in layout to avoid completing their purchase.  The Owner sued the Builder for considerable financial losses.

Insurers blaming Builder for Sub-consultant Error

An Architect was employed to assist on the rectification of a heritage stone cottage.  During construction extensive sandstone was used.  After construction the sandstone began to break down and an expert’s report noted that the particular stone used was unsuitable for use in buildings near to the sea.  The Architect’s P.I Insurer sued the Builder for $1,000,000 for his selection of the sandstone.  The uninsured Builder consequently went into liquidation.

Design Error

A Builder was contracted to design and construct a shopping mall.  A steep ramp which diverted at the base lead from the rooftop car park to the first mezzanine floor shopping area.  There was a balustrade constructed at the base of the ramp.  A pedestrian running down the ramp fell over the balustrade and down to the ground floor causing serious injury.  The Builder argued that the balustrade was constructed according to Australian Standards.  Legal advice stated that the Australian Standard was the minimum and the balustrade should have been built higher due to the nature of the decline.

Liquidators blaming Cost Over-run on Builders

A speculative multi-million dollar development went into liquidation.  Liquidators brought an action against the builder alleging under-design and negligent responsibility for cost over-runs which allegedly contributed to the liquidation.  Liquidators have now been appointed on behalf of the Builder.

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