A case study in the importance of teamwork in construction defect defense

Readers in the District of Columbia Metropolitan Area undoubtedly know of the Silver Spring Transit Center, a construction project famous for wide-ranging, complicated disputes. The center’s owners (Montgomery County and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) sued the designer, inspector and general contractor for more than $75 million for allegedly defective design and construction.

Unsurprisingly, this set off a series of claims and counterclaims, including a lawsuit filed by general contractor Foulger-Pratt Contracting, LLC (FPC) against its concrete subcontractor.

In May of 2017, the complex dispute went to trial in Montgomery County. The county wound up settling the dispute, paying FPC $3 million. How did the contractor fare so well? After all, FPC had found itself in a typically tight spot, with the owner alleging construction defects and FPC with a potential claim against a subcontractor that had done the work that was being called into question.

After FPC was sued, it assessed the owners’ claims and determined that its subcontractor’s work was acceptable and that the owner’s claims were not valid. So FPC decided against actively pursuing the claim against the subcontractor and instead entered into a joint defense agreement to protect both from the owners’ claims.

The agreement enabled them to maintain a unified front and ultimately prevail in sprawling, complex litigation as multifarious and big as the construction project itself.

Those facing these kinds of legal challenges should contact MacDonald Law Group, LLC, for its ability to protect the rights and interests of general contractors, subcontractors, developers, designers, inspectors and others.

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