3 Common Causes of Construction Lawsuits - construction attorney - Alves RadCliffe

3 Common Causes of Construction Lawsuits

An experienced construction attorney licensed to practice law in California provides several types of legal support for clients. For example, construction attorneys conduct exhaustive investigations to uncover evidence and determine the cause of a legal dispute. The best construction lawyers know how to address the three most common causes of construction lawsuits.


When a construction industry professional faces claims of failure to complete their obligations listed in a contract, the construction industry professional can face a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages for what is referred to as professional negligence. Here are three common sources of professional negligence committed in the construction industry.

General and Special Contractors

The most common type of professional negligence in the construction industry concerns a general or special contractor failing to meet the stipulations listed in a construction contract. Professional negligence committed by a general or special contractor often involves one or more defects in the design and/or construction phase of a project.

Architects and Engineers

If an architect designs or approves the design of a structure that does not meet local building codes, safety regulations, and/or another type of requirement, the architect can be held legally liable for committing an act of professional negligence. Engineers also can face legal consequences for creating or approving inferior designs.


Suppliers owe customers a duty of care to deliver safe materials that meet the quality standards listed in a construction contract. Another legal obligation suppliers must meet is to deliver supplies by the dates listed in a construction contract. If a defect develops during a construction project and the general contractor can trace fault for the defect back to inferior materials, the supplier responsible for delivering the inferior materials can be held legally liable for professional negligence.

Payment Dispute

Payment disputes are about as common as cases of professional negligence. The disputes typically arise out of the terms written into a construction contract. Property owners assume responsibility for making payments on time, and if a property owner falls behind on one or more payments, the general contractor overseeing the project can request that a mechanic’s lien be placed on the owner’s property.

The two most common reasons for a payment dispute to develop involve project delays and ambiguously worded construction contracts. You also might have to deal with a payment dispute that results from the scope of the work required of the general contractor and the team of special contractors.

A payment dispute can trigger a domino effect, in which a withheld payment to the general contractors trickles down to every other partner working on a construction project.

Project Delay

Property owners expect their projects to follow the timelines written into construction contracts. Unfortunately, many factors can force the delay of a construction project. One of the biggest problems facing general contractors in 2022 concerns supply chain disruptions. Other factors that delay construction projects include bad weather and an acute labor shortage.

Project delays typically receive four types of classifications: Excusable, inexcusable, compensable, and non-compensable. Your construction attorney reviews your case to determine which classification a project delay falls under.

Alves Radcliffe, LLP — Construction Attorney

If you have a construction related dispute, call Alves Radcliffe, LLP at 916-333-3375 or send us an email. We have over 25 years of combined experience, and serve clients throughout Greater Sacramento, Northern California, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

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