Construction Litigation & Arbitration
At Fahl & Donaldson, PLLC, we are skilled, effective litigators in a wide variety of construction matters. When a construction dispute cannot be resolved, our Houston construction litigation attorneys are ready to go to trial or arbitration to protect your interests. We make every case trial-ready because that is the best way to achieve optimal results for our clients, even if the case is ultimately resolved outside of court or in an arbitration hearing.
We provide representation in matters of dispute resolution, including litigation and arbitration of claims involving defective design, defective construction, bid protests, scope of work issues, schedule delay and disruption, mechanics’ and materialmen’s liens, contractor default, payment bond claims, performance bond defaults, contractor or subcontractor termination, force majeure, start-up, warranty, unforeseen conditions, and other construction-related disputes.
Types of Construction Disputes We Handle
Disputes can arise at any stage of a construction project, potentially causing delays, increased costs, and damage to professional relationships. When these disputes occur, it is essential to have a knowledgeable and experienced Houston construction litigation lawyer on your side.
At Fahl & Donaldson, PLLC, our Houston, TX construction litigation and arbitration attorneys handle various types of disputes, including but not limited to:
Breach of contract: This is one of the most common types of construction disputes. It involves allegations that one party failed to meet their obligations as specified in the construction contract.
Contract interpretation: Disagreements can arise over the interpretation of contract terms, leading to disputes about responsibilities, scope changes, or payment issues.
Non-payment: Contractors or subcontractors may claim they have not received payment for work performed, materials supplied, or services rendered.
Mechanic’s liens: Mechanic’s liens can be filed by contractors or subcontractors to secure payment for their work. Resolving these disputes often involves intricate legal procedures.
Structural issues: Disputes may arise when there are defects or deficiencies in the completed construction, such as foundation problems, roofing issues, or plumbing failures.
Design deficiencies: Architects and engineers can be involved in disputes if their designs are alleged to be flawed or if they fail to meet applicable codes and standards.
Delay and Disruption Claims
Project delays: Disputes may occur due to project delays, often involving issues like weather, changes in scope, or unforeseen site conditions.
Productivity loss: Contractors may claim that disruptions on the job site led to productivity losses, impacting the project timeline and budget.
Insurance Claims and Coverage Issues
Claims handling: Disagreements can arise when insurers deny or undervalue claims for property damage, personal injury, or other construction-related issues.
Coverage disputes: Policyholders and insurers may dispute whether certain construction-related events are covered by insurance policies.
Subcontractor and Supplier Disputes
Non-performance: Disputes can occur when subcontractors or suppliers fail to meet their contractual obligations.
Defective work: Allegations of subpar workmanship or materials may lead to disputes between contractors and subcontractors.
Regulatory and Compliance Issues
Permitting and zoning disputes: Disputes may arise when construction projects face challenges related to zoning regulations, permits, or environmental compliance.
Safety violations: Accusations of safety violations can lead to disputes with regulatory authorities or other project stakeholders.
Whether you are a property owner, contractor, subcontractor, or supplier, having a knowledgeable Houston construction arbitration lawyer to handle these types of construction disputes can help you protect your rights, mitigate financial losses, and achieve favorable outcomes.
TIMELY, EFFECTIVE RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES
When a dispute cannot be resolved, a third party — for example, a judge, a jury or an arbitration panel — may be required to resolve the dispute.
Unlike many other firms, our attorneys have real trial experience. We have tried many cases in state and federal courts, and we have resolved complex construction disputes before arbitration panels.
Our litigation team has more than 100 years of combined experience. If you are involved in a construction dispute, do not hesitate to put us on your side today. We know the construction industry, and we know what is at stake for our clients. Let us fight for you.
We are proven litigators with a long record of success. Put our construction litigation team on your side today if you need to resolve a complex construction dispute. We proactively advocate on our clients’ behalf throughout the course of construction projects and the dispute resolution process.
MECHANICS’ AND MATERIALMEN’S LIENS
There is no area of construction law more confusing than mechanics’ and materialmen’s lien law. Because of the competing interests of owners, lenders, title companies, architects, contractors, subcontractors, sureties and several other groups, Texas lien law is as clear as a theoretical physicist’s theories on the origins of the universe. It is very easy to make a mistake when trying to perfect a mechanics’ and materialmen’s lien. If the claimant does make an error, the claimant could be exposed to claims of filing a fraudulent lien or placing a wrongful cloud on the title of the property.
We defend owners and/or general contractors against claims made by unpaid subcontractors or suppliers that have filed mechanics’ and materialmen’s liens on the property where the project is located. In many cases, the dispute is resolved by determining that the proper procedures set forth in the Texas Property Code were not followed, and the lien is not “perfected” for the amount claimed, or the owner’s liability is limited to the retainage and the funds “trapped” by proper notices from the claimants. On other occasions, a summary motion to remove an invalid lien must be filed to remove a wrongfully filed lien.
For an unpaid subcontractor, a mechanics’ and materialmen’s lien is the only security for non-payment. Our attorneys can assist you in the proper method to perfect a claim against the owner’s property due to non-payment by the general contractor, and the best way to communicate with the owner to reduce the amount heartburn the lien notice or lien may cause. We can help you successfully foreclose your perfected mechanics’ and materialmen’s lien to recover all or part of the amounts due on a project.
PAYMENT & PERFORMANCE BONDS
Failure of a contractor or subcontractor to pay its subcontractors and/or suppliers usually results in work stoppage, delay to the schedule, breach of contract, default and termination. The payment bond surety must determine if the claims are valid and if the claims are perfected. We have the experience to work with the surety, and the surety’s principle, the contractor, to determine if a claim is valid, and also to determine if a claim has been perfected under the Texas Property Code, the Texas Government Code or the Miller Act.
Default and/or insolvency of a contractor usually results in the contractor being unable or unwilling to complete the project. When this occurs, the owner will declare the contractor in default and make demand on the performance bond surety to complete the project.
Our construction law attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help the performance bond surety, the contractor/principle and/or the owner/obligee to navigate a bad situation. We can help you determine (a) the scope of work required to complete the project; (b) if the defaulting contractor should be assisted in completing the project; (c) if a completion contractor should be tendered; (d) if the bond proceeds should be paid to the obligee; or (e) another alternative.
Third parties, such as lenders, taxing authorities, etc., become involved with competing claims to the contract balance and claims against the performance bond and (occasionally) the payment bond. Often the surety and the insurance companies become adverse parties. Insurance companies that have provided liability, property or builder’s risk insurance to the owner, contractor or subcontractors often become involved in claims involving defective design, defective construction or damage to the work. This situation can be difficult when the bond principle and the insured are the same company.
Our Houston construction litigation lawyers have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the process, protect your interests and seek a favorable resolution.
To discuss your concerns with an experienced Houston construction litigation attorney, please call Fahl & Donaldson, PLLC, at (346) 241-7355 or compete our contact form. We provide litigation services for clients throughout Texas and the Gulf Coast area.