A project owner/developer successfully recovered on most aspects of its complaint against a contractor for defective workmanship that caused window leaks and underground parking garage wall leaks, but its negligence claim was dismissed by summary judgment with the court finding the contractor owed no independent duty to the Owner outside of the duties assumed by the contract.  Where duties are owed that “result solely from the contractual relationship between the parties, the plaintiff’s negligence is barred because there is no independent duty arising in tort.”  2300 Pennsylvania Avenue, LLC v. Harkins Builders, Inc., 2012 WL 691579 (E.D. VA 2012).

About the author: Article written by J. Kent Holland, Jr.,  a construction lawyer located in Tysons Corner, Virginia,  with a national practice (formerly with Wickwire Gavin, P.C. and now with Construction Risk Counsel, PLLC) representing design professionals, contractors and project owners.  He is founder and president of a consulting firm, ConstructionRisk, LLC, providing consulting services to owners, design professionals, contractors and attorneys on construction projects.  He is publisher of ConstructionRisk.com Report and may be reached at Kent@ConstructionRisk.com or by calling 703-623-1932.  This article is published in ConstructionRisk.com Report, Vol. 14, No. 9 (Oct 2012).

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