Condominium Complex Suffered Water Intrusion.
Lewis & Roberts represented a Home Owners' Association on behalf of 72 condominium owners on Lake Norman for defects in their buildings that caused rotting wood and water leaks through brick cladding. The condos were constructed by a large international builder based in Charlotte. The defects involved improper flashing that allowed water to drain into wall cavities behind the brick, and wood decks that drained toward the building rather than away. The leaks allowed water inside the living areas and the poor drainage caused rotting wood decks. The brick cladding was also not properly secured to the building structure causing the bricks to become loose and fall away from the walls. Many of these defects were building code violations. The general contractor's on-site supervisor admitted in his deposition he had never owned a copy of the North Carolina Building Code, had no copy on site, and did not know how to use the Code to reference whether any part of the construction complied with North Carolina's Building Code.
Lewis & Roberts, on behalf of the Association, sued the general contractor, architect, and various sub-contractors responsible for the shoddy work. We retained a forensic engineering firm to conduct a thorough investigation and engineering analysis of the building, including remote operated cameras into the wall cavities. Once the worse damage areas were located, one exterior wall and one interior wall were removed to show the extent of the water intrusion. Photographs and videos of the areas were used at mediation to describe the severity of the damage. We also used the engineering report to formulate a scope of work to repair all of the defects.
Once a complete scope of repair work was identified, Lewis & Roberts negotiated a settlement with the defendants for the repairs - including our engineering firm being retained to supervise the work, repayment of all the investigation expenses, plus our attorneys' fees and expenses in representing the Association. The case is an example of a creative contingent fee arrangement that allowed this case to settle for repair work performed, besides paying for our work and expenses, plus the work of our retained experts. The total value of the settlement was $1.95 Million.
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