In previous posts, we have discussed the New Home Warranty Act and how it relates to Chinese Drywall damages. However, this Act only applies to new homes. As to the thousands of post-Katrina renovations and re-models that did not involve a new structure, homeowners must find remedies against their builders elsewhere.
Generally Speaking...Contractors Are Responsible for Defects in Materials and WorkmanshipIn construction contracts, Louisiana law implies that the contractor will construct the work in a good and workmanlike manner, the work will be suitable for its intended purpose, and the work will be free from defects in workmanship or materials. Peterson Contractors, Inc. v. Herd Producing Company, Inc., 811 So.2d 130 (2 Cir. 2002). An owner seeking to recover from a contractor bears the burden of proving: 1) both the existence and nature of the defects; 2) that the defects were due to faulty materials or workmanship; and 3) the cost of repairing the defects. Guy T. Williams Realty, Inc. v. Shamrock Construction Company, 564 So.2d 689 (La. 5 Cir. 1990). Therefore, under Louisiana law, the general rule is that a contractor is responsible for defects in workmanship and/or materials.
Articles 2762 and 2969Aside from the general concept that contractor's are responsible for the quality of its workmanship and materials, the Louisiana legislature has given us two articles that set forth a contractor's liability for its work. Article 2762: Liability of contractor for damages due to badness of workmanship
If a building, which an architect or other workman has undertaken to make by the job, should fall to ruin either in whole or in part, on account of the badness of the workmanship, the architect or undertaker shall bear the loss if the building falls to ruin in the course of ten years, if it be a stone or brick building, and of five years if it be built in wood or with frames filled with bricks.Article 2769: Contractor's liability for non-compliance with contract
If an undertaker fails to do the work he has contracted to do, or if he does not execute it in the manner and at the time he has agreed to do it, he shall be liable in damages for the losses that may ensue from his non-compliance with his contract.