Posted On: June 24, 2008

Defective Construction Repairs in Mobile, Alabama

If you believe that you have a claim for construction defects to your home or business it is very important to preserve the evidence. Also, you should place the contractor and/or other construction professional(s) on notice and give them an opportunity to inspect prior to making repairs. However, emergency repairs are generally permissible. Failure to follow this process may allow your adversary to assert the defense of spoliation of evidence--basically, the defense of "the evidence has been intentionally destroyed."

If you believe you have a claim for defective construction in Mobile, Alabama, contact a lawyer to assist you with the notice/inspection process.

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Posted On: June 19, 2008

Indemnity Clause within Construction Contracts

Indemnity is an undertaking whereby one agrees to indemnify another upon the occurrence of an anticipated loss. For example, as a general contractor you should require your plumber to indemnify you (via contract) for any loss caused by a defect in his work. Put simply, if you receive a complaint alleging defective plumbing the plumber must assume your defense as it pertains to his work and any resulting damage.

In Alabama, two types of indemnity obligations exist, common law and contractual. Here, we deal with contractual indemnity. Essentially, the subcontractor is required (under contract) to bear the loss associated with identified perils (personal injury, death, damage to property, etc.) that could be attributed to the general contractor. Most often the indemnity provision will request that the subcontractor also cover the cost of defense (attorney fees, etc.) as a result of claims made against the general contractor. Note, in Alabama, such provisions are carefully scrutinized by our courts, and such an agreement is enforceable only if the provision is “unambiguous and unequivocal.” Further, ambiguous language in an indemnity agreement is always construed against the drafter.

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Posted On: June 18, 2008

Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance Policy for Alabama Contractors

Before commencing work on any construction project in Mobile, Alabama, you should purchase a commercial (a/k/a comprehensive) general liability (“CGL”) insurance policy. This type of coverage should insure your construction business from damages caused to others by an “occurrence,” as defined under the policy. Prior to selling your business a CGL insurance policy, your local insurance agent should explain to you the coverage afforded under the policy and its exclusions. Also, your local insurance agent should discuss appropriate coverage amounts. Local insurance agents are paid to help you insure your business. Insurance policies are complex documents that require professional help to clearly understand. Unfortunately, upon receipt of a claim, some insurance companies act in bad faith and fail to honor the terms of the insurance policy. If you receive an insurance claim "denial" consult with an attorney who has experience dealing with insurance coverage issues. Do not accept an insurance company's explanation of its insurance policy as accurate information.

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