Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for Texas

Q: Who do you sue if you have a new build house (1 1/2 yrs) that, since day one has had major issues, foundation,

Water leakage, sewer issues, window casings cracking out. All documented emails, pictures and work done so far.

1 Lawyer Answer
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Construction Law Lawyer
  • Frisco, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Common defendants in such a lawsuit include the builder, the soils engineer, the foundation design engineer, the foundation subcontractor who built the foundation, and the landscape design engineer who designed the landscaping.

It really depends upon what your structural engineer expert says has caused the major issues you are experiencing. It could be a design defect in the foundation. It could be a construction defect in the way the foundation was built. It could be a design defect in the landscaping placing large vegetation too close to the foundation. It could be professional negligence by the soils engineer providing incorrect information to the foundation design engineer. I've even seen a case where the pool design engineer was responsible for placing a swimming pool too close to the foundation, and one where the problem was a leaking plumbing line. I've seen a case where it was alleged the concrete supplier was responsible for providing a mixture of cement for a building foundation that had too high a ratio of water:cement.

You need to ask your engineer if you have an "edge lift" situation or a "center lift" situation or a "differential movement" situation. You also need to ask him/her what actual deflection and tilt of the foundation is based on his/her measurements and what is the maximum allowable for each under the performance standards. Getting these answers from your own engineering expert is crucial to determining which contractor or design professional may be legally responsible.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.