Recently, the Alabama courts have issued two significant decisions regarding the architect's role in the construction project, which will have an impact on owners, contractors, and subcontractors. It is important that you understand these decisions as they could affect the success of your construction claim. This article provides a short summary of these decisions.
Submission of Claim to the Architect is a Condition Precedent to Filing Suit.
In lawsuits involving construction projects where the AIA contract documents were used, the Contractor or Owner's failure to submit its claim to the Architect before filing suit could be fatal to its case. In the recent Alabama case of Bella Investments, Inc. v. Multi Family Services, 97 So. 2d 787 (Ala. Civ. App. 2012), the Owner brought an action against the General Contractor on a hotel construction project, which included a breach-of-contract claim among other claims. The specific defects included cracked tile that was noticed during the punch list stage, as well as later issues involving floors and walls buckling which caused doors to bind; improper installation of the fiber cement siding; and improper grading of the project site.
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