Design Defect and Construction-Related Claims

Goldberg Segalla’s Construction Practice Group is a team of efficient, creative problem solvers dedicated to protecting contractors, construction managers, and design professionals against the broad range of defect claims that could threaten their business livelihoods and their reputations.

We have a strong track record of protecting clients and their work product on projects of all sizes and scope, ranging from schools and hotels to pipelines and renewable energy infrastructure. In fact, our work has helped rewrite the law at the appellate level in favor of the design professional community.

We represent the full range of parties that may be implicated in high-exposure defect claims, including:

  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • Contractors and subcontractors
  • Energy firms
  • Environmental consultants
  • Insurers
  • Owners
  • Suppliers

But we’re not just construction litigators. We are business and professional liability lawyers too, and we apply to every case our deep understanding of each client’s business and their work on the project. We understand and appreciate the contractual relationships at play and put that knowledge to work for our clients. Our exceptional industry knowledge and savvy greatly increases the value we provide when giving proactive, risk-minimizing counsel throughout all phases of a project — from initial conception and design all the way through completion and beyond — so companies and professionals can focus on their business and their practice rather than on protracted lawsuits.

When design or construction defect claims arise, we bring extensive experience protecting clients against claims involving issues and allegations including:

  • Defective workmanship
  • Design defects
  • Faulty or defective materials
  • Improper installation
  • Indemnification and contribution
  • Negligent engineering and inspection
  • Negligent supervision of construction projects
  • Professional negligence
Acceleration and Compression

Our construction team deeply understands the constraints placed upon owners and contractors during any given construction project. Foreseeable and unexpected delays arise, for any number of reasons, and affect the completion date for the subject project. Regardless of the reason or necessity for the delay, various projects still need to be completed by the originally intended and contracted-for date, thus giving rise to what is known as acceleration, along with the resulting compression of the production schedule to make up for lost time.

With our attorneys’ extensive experience, we can help decipher the protections required prior to an issue arising and continue to work with clients from the start to completion of a project, thereby effectively identifying situations that can trigger acceleration and advising clients on ways to ensure they are not left on the hook for additional costs. In the event litigation is unavoidable, our clients can rest assured we will be with them every step of the way to protect their interests.

Excavation and Underpinning

When excavation occurs on a construction site, it is crucial to take additional steps like underpinning and shoring to protect the surrounding properties, buildings, and their occupants to avoid or mitigate the risk of adjacent property damage or the collapse of structures on them. The potential for damage to adjacent structures is not limited to the act of excavation itself, though: The resulting damage can also arise from improperly performed underpinning and shoring.

Goldberg Segalla’s construction attorneys have successfully defended owners, general contractors, various-tier subcontractors, and design professionals from claims of negligent construction such as those related to excavation and underpinning. We know from experience that frequently the protections afforded to adjacent property owners depends on the location of the construction work. For example, in New York City, the Court of Appeals has mandated that contractors requiring excavation to occur are subject to strict liability for resulting damage, regardless of the depth of the excavation. The imposition of strict liability affects not only the excavation and underpinning contractors, but also the owner and general contractor.

Our experience with the caselaw in various jurisdictions, along with deeply understanding the relationships among all parties potentially in play, positions us to provide superior representation in the event of excavation- or underpinning-related claims.