Construction Defect Litigation

Ryan Swanson’s experience handling construction defect claims on behalf of community associations, property owners, declarants and contractors is substantial. The depth of our experience and success spans many forms of associations, project types, forms of defects, and the building systems and products involved. In addition, we are generally successful in negotiating a resolution to our cases without the need for full and formal litigation. However, we also have considerable success in all forums including arbitration, motion practice, trial, and taking matter through appeal, where necessary. The breadth of our experience can be summarized as follows:

  • Associations: Condominiums (New Act and Old Act projects); single-family homeowners associations (RCW 64.38 associations and other covenant-governed associations); master associations and sub-associations.
  • Unit Types: Affordable housing units; mid-range units; high-end luxury units; detached; stacked; and townhouse style.
  • Project Types: Single box and multi-building projects; multi-phased projects, from 9 units to several hundred units; mixed use; high rise; and conversions.
  • Types of Defects: Design; engineering; execution of construction; and product liability/product failure defects. These defects run the gamut from roofing, exterior, cladding assemblies, flashing systems, waterproofing membranes, windows and doors, below-grade foundation systems and waterproofing, heating and ventilation, plumbing, electrical, fire suppression systems, site preparation, grading and fill, and drainage issues, among others.
  • Other related issues: In addition, while handling construction defect claims for our clients, we often are involved in ancillary project issues, such as:
    • unpaid assessments by developer, allocations of assessments and development costs;
    • management during developer control;
    • insurance issues;
    • interpretation of governing documents and amendments to same;
    • native growth preservation easements and greenbelt issues;
    • cell phone tower rights and revenue issues;
    • sewer and other utility and development assessments; and
    • other similar issues.
  • Insurance: In virtually every construction defect claim, insurance is an issue. We have extensive experience representing policyholders, including owners associations, individuals, developers and contractors. Our practice regularly includes assisting our clients in obtaining insurance benefits, evaluating insurance coverage positions taken by our clients’ insurers and by the insurance carriers of adverse parties, and prosecuting or defending declaratory judgment actions to establish coverage where necessary.
  • Declarant representation: In addition to representing community associations, Ryan Swanson has depth of experience representing developers, declarants and contractors in construction defect claims as well. We have litigated on all sides of construction defect claims, prosecuting, defending, and representing third party plaintiffs’ and defendants. Having prosecuted and defended claims on both sides of the aisle gives our firm a clear understanding of the claim process, needs and interests of all parties involved and hence, how to package a claim to achieve the most likely form of successful resolution, within the specific facts and circumstances of a given case.

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