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Suing an engineering, construction or installation firm for defects in building design or construction can be a tough prospect if the work was finished long ago and/or was substantially complete and accepted by the owner prior to the injury. hvacpipe

This is true in many states. In Florida, for example, the Florida Supreme Court ruled in Slavin v. Kay in 1959 that once a purchaser accepts a building, it’s the purchaser who accepts any of the building’s defects for purposes of liability. But this is true only when the defects are patent. Latent defects aren’t covered, and in some cases, a contractor might still be liable to third parties for injuries caused by latent defects. Subsequent court opinions held latency is determined by whether the danger posed by that condition was open and obvious – not whether the physical condition itself was open and obvious.

What this means is if you are injured as a result of a defective building condition, most likely, the defendant to pursue will be the owner of that property/structure. It might also be worth exploring the management firm/maintenance company, if the problem was failure to ensure proper upkeep.

While personal injury cases in Florida have varying levels of complexity, most cases can benefit from a pre-trial investigation. Depending on the reliance of expert witness testimony, the time elapsed since the tort and other factors, some cases require more extensive investigation than others. magnifyingglass3

While our Fort Myers personal injury lawyers recognize that some clients are reluctant to invest in the expense of an extensive investigatory process. However, in cases where information is not readily apparent or accessible, that kind of investigation can be essential to winning a case.

An attorney’s ability to develop a successful strategy that concisely and clearly conveys relevant information to the jury – or even to a judge – depends heavily on the depth and quality of information gathered in advance of trial.

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