Actionable Claims in Construction Defect Litigation

In California, construction defect litigation is essentially governed by the Right to Repair Act (Ca. Civil Code, §§896-945.5), which is often referred to as SB 800, and by the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act. For our purposes, we are going to expand upon the Right to Repair Act.

The Act outlines what constitutes a construction defect in California; it does this by establishing what is called “functionality standards,” thus a violation of the functionality standards is deemed “actionable” under California law.

The Right to Repair Act specifically applies to original construction homes that were sold as single-family residences, and the purchase agreement was signed on or before January 1, 2003.

Strict Liability Doctrine

The Act includes a strict liability doctrine. Meaning, plaintiffs are entitled to recover damages, and they need not prove a breach of duty. Instead, they must show that a “mass-produced” home is defective and as a result of that “defect,” they suffered injuries.

Under the Act, there are approximately 45 functionality standards, and a violation of each is considered an actionable claim. These standards are placed under seven (7) categories, including:

  • Water intrusion
  • Structural problems
  • Soil issues
  • Fire protection
  • Sewer and plumbing
  • Electrical systems
  • A catch-all category for other construction-related issues

Who are the potential defendants in a construction defect case? Possible defendants range from the builders of mass-produced homes to manufacturers, material suppliers, developers, and in some cases, even subcontractors.

If a plaintiff has suffered actual damages due to the negligent construction of a residence, then there may be a negligent cause of action. In such cases, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant’s actions were below the established professional standards, or that the defendant failed to adhere to the building code requirements.

Orange County Construction Defect Attorney

Searching for a construction defect lawyer in Orange County? Contact The Mirkhan Law Firm to work with a team of top-class professionals who are dedicated to ensuring that justice is served.