16 August 2013

Denver Business Journal: better construction curbs lawsuits

A new story in the Denver Business Journal considers whether litigation is to blame for slow condominium construction in Colorado. The Journal noted that, prior to the Great Recession, many developers were erecting large condominium projects such as Spire and One Lincoln Park. Today, many developers are focusing on apartments instead, and some developers say that this is due to a fear of lawsuits by condominium associations over defective work. This concern lead to an unsuccessful attempt in the state senate earlier this year to give immunity to builders of defective condominiums that were located near bus or train stops.

The Journal interviewed Jesse Witt, principal of The Witt Law Firm, as part of its coverage, and noted his belief that "better construction curbs lawsuits." Witt explained that "Changing this law would be ignoring a fundamental problem: Why don't they just build to code? They only get sued if they didn't do the work properly." The Journal also quoted Witt as saying that "if developers paid more upfront costs to do careful construction, litigation costs could be avoided." Witt suggested that a better approach would be to focus on education and certification of contractors. Colorado does not currently license contractors at the state level.

The story appeared in the 16 August 2013 edition of the Journal. Subscribers can access the full text of the article here.