Excavation Litigation and Underpinning Litigation

Experienced with Adjacent Property Damage Claimsi-prac-excavation

During construction and excavation occurring in the vicinity of other buildings, it is possible to upset the soil beneath neighboring buildings and cause tipping, leaning or cracking in the foundation of those buildings. In the most extreme situations, the defective or improper excavation can lead to collapse of the building.  Many experts believe that improper excavation and underpinning is the leading cause of construction damage in New York, especially New York City.  Particularly, improper excavation and inadequate or improper shoring is a common cause of damage to adjoining properties and the damages may be substantial for the owners of those buildings. The construction damage attorneys at Kushnick Pallaci PLLC are well versed in the legal requirements of excavation operations and routinely counsel clients on the rights and obligations during excavation, shoring and underpinning operations.

At the law firm of Kushnick Pallaci PLLC, we represent clients in litigation involving improper and defective excavation and underpinning throughout across the State of New York, including, the New York City boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan and in Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. We work with property owners, including the owners of neighboring buildings, as well as general contractors, sub-contractors and engineers.  The firm’s managing member, Vincent T. Pallaci has regularly lectured to engineers, contractors, owners and attorneys on the legal obligations of all parties involved with excavation process, licensing agreements and adjacent property damage claims.  Some common signs of damage from defective or deficient excavation, construction, underpinning and/or shoring include cracks in the building facade, floors out of level, walls out of plumb and windows and doors that are out of square.

Contact the New York construction damage lawyers at Kushnick Pallaci PLLC if your building has been damaged because of excavation, underpinning or shoring or if you are worried that you will be held responsible for damages that occurred during the excavation, shoring or underpinning of an adjacent property.  Our attorneys will help analyze the situation with you and develop a plan that fits your situation and your needs.  Our construction attorneys can take immediate action when necessary, including working with the Department of Buildings to attempt to obtain or remove Stop Work Orders and even obtaining emergency court orders to stop work or remove a Stop Work Order.  Whether the building has moved, tilted, shifted, sunk, cracked or collapsed, our construction attorneys have seen it all and are ready to help.

Requirements of Underpinning in Building Excavation

Underpinning or other methods of shoring and building construction supports must be repeatedly inspected as conditions permit, and must be performed by a properly licensed and qualified team. The use of underpinning, as well as sheet piling or bracing, is often done to prevent damage to adjoining buildings. Underpinning can ensure that walls, supports and utilities are not destroyed or severely damaged in excavation and that no one is injured as a result.

In addition to these precautions, owners must provide notice to neighboring buildings regarding excavation and must file appropriate building permits and underpinning documentation that is supported by engineering analysis and insurance.  The NYC Construction Code has a number of specific provisions outlining the rights and obligations of those performing excavation and shoring as well has the rights and obligations of neighboring property owners.

If proper action is not taken, the owners, contractors and sub-contractors may be liable for damages that occur during or as a result of the construction.  The construction damage lawyers at Kushnick Pallaci PLLC can help walk owners, contractors, architects and engineers through this process and assure that all of the proper notices have been sent out and permissions (such as licenses, including judicial licenses) have been obtained.  By consulting with our attorneys early you may be able to avoid bigger problems later on in the project by making sure that everyone knows their legal rights and obligations during the construction process.

Contact us at Kushnick Pallaci PLLC at 631-752-7100 or toll free at 1-888-587-4529 to schedule a free initial consultation.