Indianapolis, IN asked in Construction Law for Indiana

Q: On a construction project at what point does the owner or GC become responsible for materials installed in the building?

We as a company installed furnaces into an apartment building. After they were installed, a thief came in and cut out and removed the furnaces from the building. The Genderal Contractor and Owner are claiming that until the certificate of Occupancy is granted that we are responsible to replace the stolen furnaces. My understanding is that once a furnace is installed it becomes a part of the structure and is the responsibility of the GC or owner to provide builders risk insurance against theft since we do not provide security for the building.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Terrence Rubino
Terrence Rubino
  • Dyer, IN
  • Licensed in Indiana

A: you shouldn't be held liable. once you install it, your responsibility continues as to any warranty re the furnace. you are not responsible for it being stolen. the general contractor is the one who has that responsibility as he has control over the site until the occupancy permit is issued.

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