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ARTICLE ID 186025

ON PROXIMATE CAUSE IN FAVOR OF NON-SETTLING CONCRETE SUBCONTRACTOR Construction Negligence – Pre-fabricated ________ square foot warehouse provided without composite decking that would permit automatic bonding of concrete – Extensive damage to warehouse shortly after ________ construction.

Sussex County, NJ

In this action, the plaintiff contended that although a pre-fabricated metal warehouse containing composite decking, that would permit bonding with concrete in the absence of reinforcing material such as rebar, was ordered, the manufacturer supplied a warehouse with decking that would require reinforced concrete. In addition to initially naming the manufacturer, the plaintiff also contended that other defendants, including the architect and structural engineer, should have realized that additional reinforcement was needed. The cases against these defendants settled prior to trial for a substantial sum.

The plaintiff contended that the non-settling concrete subcontractor should have realized that reinforced concrete was necessary. The non-settling defendant maintained that it was hired as a labor subcontractor only, had no role in choosing the type of concrete used, and denied that it contributed to the incident. The defense also contended that the plaintiff had an active role, assumed the role of G.C. and was overwhelmingly comparatively negligent.The jury found that although the non-settling defendant was negligent, there was an absence of proximate cause. They also found that the owner was 50% negligent, the settling manufacturer 25% negligent and the settling architect 25% negligent.

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