Construction litigation in North Carolina can erupt from far more than alleged breaches of the construction contract by one or more parties. Other forms of litigation can arise as initiated by third parties not related to the construction itself.
The litigation may be based on tort and negligence, rather than breach of construction contract. If damages resulting from the negligence is provable, plaintiffs may prevail in a suit.
Damages caused by negligence
According to Black’s Law Dictionary, negligence is the failure to act as a reasonable person under the attendant circumstances would do or to act in a manner that a reasonable person would not act. The knowledge of the parties is a consideration in determining if there was negligence.
Outer Banks power outage caused litigation
As reported by USA Today, recently a lawsuit filing against a construction company concerned allegations that the construction company negligently caused the Outer Banks to suffer a widespread power outage during the summer of 2017. At the time of the filing, the island was days into the outage and it was unclear when the residents and visitors would see a remedy unfold.
The plaintiffs to this class action suit included both businesses and visitors to this well-known tourist area for vacationers. Apparently, while constructing a bridge, the construction company drove a steel pylon through power transmission lines, thereby causing the power outage.
The lawsuit claims that the act of doing so, however unintentional, was negligent. The construction company arguably failed to use proper care that another reasonably prudent construction company with similar knowledge would have used to avoid such damages.
The alleged damages resulting from the power outage were that it interfered with vacations, rental plans, and contracts of visitors. Because the duration of the outage is not yet known, the damage could also deepen. Because island businesses rely on the summertime to financially survive the remainder of the year, there was argument that this outage and the resulting business losses could damage those businesses beyond repair.