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North Carolina's changing construction laws

While often overlooked, construction is a major part of the economy in most states in America. Hot cities like Raleigh, Durham, and Charlotte are seeing exponential growth, and with that growth comes the inevitable demand for new buildings, homes, road repairs, bridges and other needs. Yet when plans for those new structures go awry, a series of legal procedures may take place. These procedures can often prove to be challenging, especially to those unfamiliar with state-specific laws regarding construction negligence.

An article on the Gontram Architecture website acknowledged the changes in North Carolina construction laws in recent years. The North Carolina Session Law 2015-45 went into effect in October of 2015, and raises the stakes regarding the penalty for inspectors who fail to carry out work in a timely and effective manner. According to Gontram, this relatively new law will also place stricter penalties in the case of willful misconduct, gross negligence or gross incompetence. Instances of negligence include, but are not limited to, the refusal to implement or adhere to an interpretation of the Building Code, failure to provide inspections in a timely manner and the refusal to allow required alternative methods under the conditions and circumstances set forth in the accompanying Code.

According to North Carolina Construction News, North Carolina is one of 22 states that have enacted laws that void forum-selection clauses in construction contracts that attempt to require litigation outside of the state where the work was performed. Construction News goes on to point out that many out-of-state general contractors require their subcontractors to sign forum-selection and choice of law clauses to ensure convenience and avoid high costs when resolving disputes in a jurisdiction of their choice.   

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