Union City, CA asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Real Estate Law for California

Q: Contractor malpractice on hazardous material

in Calfornia, a general contractor was hired for condo remodeling.

The condo is contaminated to the extent beyond living and the clean up bill from is hefty. Shall the owner be responsible for the bill only?

2 Lawyer Answers
Manuel Alzamora Juarez
Manuel Alzamora Juarez PRO label
  • Berkeley, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Did the homeowner’s association know of the Asbestos prior to your purchase of Thr condominium? Was this fact disclosed to you in your closing documents? We’re you aware of the asbestos issue prior to construction? These and many more questions would be raised in a litigation against the contractor.

It is important to review the agreement to find out whether asbestos testing and remediation was included on the agreement between landlord and contractor.

There are no easy answers as there may be liability on several parties. Best of luck.

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson
  • Woodland Hills, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I agree with Mr. Juarez, but there are additional things that you should know.

There are requirements for testing before a commercial demolition.Those requirements include the following: The asbestos survey must be conducted by a Certified Asbestos Consultant. The survey must be completed prior to any demolition or renovation activity. There are no exceptions based on date of construction or the age of the facility.

Failure to have a proper survey done results in liability to the property owners and others in the event that thee is asbestor present. In your case, the contractor is also liable.

You need to determine what your damages are, then you should seek a consultation with a competent attorney in the area of construction law, and bring your contract along with you.

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