Shoddy craftsmanship is one of the biggest concerns people have when they search for contractors to do repairs or upgrades to their home. The person you hire should be reliable and you should be able to rely on the fact that you paid them money to do a good job. Unfortunately, that is not always how it goes. When you are the victim of a bad construction job, what can you do? Well, Texas answered that question by passing the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
The Deceptive Trade Practices Act is a consumer protection law that holds people and businesses accountable for using false or deceptive trade practices in the State of Texas. Construction work typically and most squarely falls under the DTPA through the breach of express or implied warranty claims. An express warranty is one that is included in the contract with the contractor when you signed it, and an implied warranty is one that is implied by law, such as the implied warranty of good and workmanlike manner.
Warranties are a great tool for attorneys who wish to use the DTPA and are standard tools in any DTPA suit against a contractor. These implied warranties fit very nicely next to the standard breach of contract claims that you will want to bring. They fit nicely because the difference between a breach of contract and a breach of warranty, which are separate causes of action, but the warranty usually springs into play as a result of the contractor breaking some part of the agreement that produces shoddy workmanship or a finished product that is different from what was explicitly agreed upon. In order to determine which warranties come into play, we must look at the contract you signed (if you signed one).
But the best part about the DTPA is the potential for treble damages. Trebling damages acts as a deterrent to limit the use of deceptive trade practices in the State. Essentially what “trebling” the damages means that whatever economic damages and mental anguish damages you have can be tripled by the statute.
If you have been the victim of a bad construction job, you need to act fast and speak with an attorney as soon as you can. The longer the time since the work has been done, the harder it will be to prove. You must be aware of the statute of limitations that begins to run once you discover the construction defect. Another concern is that evidence of their wrongdoing also tends to disappear, and memories fade, and in the extreme, contractors can no longer be found.
In order to protect your rights to the fullest extent of the law, if you have been harmed by bad construction work on your home or business, call Guest and Gray today at 972-564-4644! Scott Gray is our Chief of Civil Litigation with over 10 years of experience helping clients achieve their goals, and was recognized as a Rising Star in Texas Super Lawyers® for 2015-2016.