In an article published in Attorney at Law Magazine on 9/28/22, Evan Small and Keegan Berry provide insight and legal arguments relating to contractor responsibility on construction projects. They detail the importance, and non-delegable responsibility licensed contractors carry when properly conducting and overseeing work on construction projects. Additionally, they explain the attempts of contractors to avoid civil liability.
“In recent years, licensed contractors have attempted to avoid civil liability by shifting responsibility to the subcontractors who negligently performed work under the licensed contractor’s supervision, management, direction, and control,” they write. “The very first time this issue came before a Florida Court as to a licensed general contractor, that Court found “the duty of a general contractor to use due care [is] a non-delegable duty which may not be committed to an independent contractor;” Mills v. Krauss, 114 So.2d 817, 820 (Fla. 2nd DCA 1959).”
Since Mills v. Krauss, Florida courts have maintained consistent rulings pertaining to this matter. However, contractors continue to assert affirmative defenses to dodge civil liability.
“Despite overwhelming legal authority, licensed contractors continue to attempt avoidance of civil liability for their work by seeking to pass responsibility to the subcontractors who performed the work under the licensed contractor’s supervision and permit,” they write. “Many larger homebuilders even attempt to delegate the control and supervision of the work within their subcontracts.”
Evan and Keegan provide a summary from the 11th Circuit Court finding that “the non-delegable duty arises by virtue of the qualifying contractor’s execution of the application for permit and the resulting issuance of the permit in reliance thereon.”
To read the story in full, click here.