Hotel Construction Defect Case Study: Tribally-owned Hotel

Posted on September 28, 2016 by Jessica Meeker

When siding started to blow off a newly constructed hotel in typical wind conditions, the owners, a Native American Tribe, knew there was a problem.

Based on a very strong word-of-mouth recommendation, the Tribe contacted Michael A. Hearn, a construction defect attorney who represents property owners. Mr. Hearn and a variety of forensic experts performed a comprehensive review of the hotel construction. In that process, the siding issue was found to be present over most of the hotel’s exterior, and many other serious defect issues were discovered.

“I’ve specialized in this work since 1982, and while I see construction defects every day, the degree of the failed workmanship at this hotel was amazing,” said Mr. Hearn.

In August of 2016, after two years of litigation, the Tribe successfully resolved the claims against the parties involved, and received a multi-million-dollar settlement that will be adequate to completely restore and repair the hotel and resolve all the issues.

The initial discovery of defects, investigative construction forensics, careful budgeting, and ultimately the successful outcome highlights the need for vigilance in economic enterprise development – specifically large building construction – in Indian Country and elsewhere. Had the Tribe simply attempted to address the siding issue as a maintenance concern, the long-term effects of poor construction throughout the hotel would have not been discovered until it was too late and would have become potentially business-threatening in their increasing severity and repair costs.

With this settlement, the Tribe has the resources to perform repairs and ensure the property will be a valuable asset to their community for decades to come.