Courts Agree – General Contractors Cannot Pass Responsibility for Faulty Work to Subcontractors, published in Attorney at Law Magazine2022-10-18T19:26:46+00:00
10.14.2022 // Construction Defect, CONSTRUCTION LAW WATCH, Florida, NEWS, Press Releases, Publications
Courts Agree – General Contractors Cannot Pass Responsibility for Faulty Work to Subcontractors, published in Attorney at Law Magazine


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.


Ball Janik LLP was founded in 1982 with six lawyers and a four-person support staff in Portland, Oregon. Since our firm’s inception, we have expanded our capabilities, our professionals, and geographic footprint. What started as a firm focused in real property and land use (known then as Ball Janik & Novack), has grown to include the insights of a team of 30-plus attorneys, with a combined six centuries of experience, and capabilities including Real Estate and Land Use, Construction Defect, Commercial Litigation, Insurance Recovery, Construction and Design, Employment, Finance and Corporate, Public Agencies and Schools, and Community Associations. With offices in Florida and Oregon, our regional growth has earned us a national reputation for upholding the rights of our clients.

Ball Janik LLP has been recognized by Chambers USA, U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers®, The Best Lawyers in America©, and Corporate International. Ball Janik LLP’s success and integrity have repeatedly made it one of “Oregon’s Most Admired Professional Firms,” according to the Portland Business Journal’s survey results of CEOs throughout the region.

Keegan A. Berry
Orlando, Florida
Evan J. Small
Orlando, Florida
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