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Design flaws, defects lead to lawsuit in California county

When San Bernardino County agreed to an expansion project for the High Desert Detention Center in Adelanto, they weren't anticipating any additional costs to their set budget. The project added new beds to the detention center and increased the square footage to more than eight acres to address overcrowding in prisons. Despite the plans the county agreed to with the contractor, they've found out the hard way that construction defects and flaws can wreak havoc on your budget.

The county is not pleased that their project was $1.4 million over their original budget due to the design flaws and defects made by two companies working with their contractor on the project. The county says that in addition to design flaws, the construction companies used faulty fire sprinklers and smoke detectors. This is a serious issue because if the county didn't replace the defective devices, serious injuries and fatalities could occur in the event of a fire or other emergency and they could be held liable. 

In an effort to recoup the additional costs of fixing the construction defects and flaws, the county has received approval from the Board of Supervisors to start litigation with the HOK and Jacobs Engineering Group, the two contractors responsible for the defects. The county said they hope to reach an agreement, but if an agreement isn't made they may have to file a lawsuit against the companies. 

Depending on the type of agreement the county receives, it may be in their best interest to look into filing a lawsuit against the construction companies. Construction defects and design flaws can be very expensive to fix, which is why it is important to look into your legal options if your contractor has made any flaws or used defective products. 

Companies and local governments in California should be aware of the legal action they can take over construction defects. A lawsuit against the party responsible for the design flaws may help them recover any costs they had to pay as well as pay for any additional damages associated with the project. 

Source: The Sun, "Design flaws at Adelanto's High Desert Detention Center spur litigation," Joe Nelson, April 22, 2014

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