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Salem Construction Defect Law Update: Litigation Surrounding Structural Issues on the Courthouse Square Drags On, Expands

In Portland, and the Pacific Northwest generally, the wet weather means construction defects can cause damages of all kinds. Almost always, water intrusion is at least partially to blame. From the small single family home to the large project, construction defects resulting in water intrusion continue to plague property owners. (read info on water intrusion and associated mold problems at the EPA)

But contrary to popular belief, not all Portland, Salem or Pacific Northwest construction defect issues involve water intrusion. Other common construction defects include structural integrity and building safety issues, both of which can directly impact the safety of building tenants.

Right now, in Salem, OR, the center of the construction defect law universe is the Courthouse Square project. There really is no dispute that the 10-year old building has serious structural problems, and several pieces of litigation have sprung up trying to hold various people responsible for the construction defects involved. Some of those pieces of litigation have settled; others march on.

Among other problems, the concrete used in the project has failed strength tests and the building is viewed as seismically suspect.

The latest issue is surrounding that massive piece of construction defect litigation surrounds the involvement of structural engineer Mike Hayford, who died long before anyone raised any defect issues in the building. Litigation against his company, Century West Engineering Corp., is ongoing.

Hayford presented his final design to the City of Salem in 1998. More than a decade later, construction defect experts are claiming that the building's column and slab designs were defective from the start.

The complex construction defect litigation continues, and Hayford's family claims that his deteriorating health around the time of the project may have led to mistakes.

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