Law Office of Robert J. Wittmann

I'm a South Jersey general practice attorney, Truman Scholar and former Congressional staffer with a passion for justice. My general practice focuses on civil litigation, family law and municipal court.

 

NJ CONCRETE LITIGATION

 

Countless South Jersey homeowners in Camden, Gloucester and Burlington County spend thousands of dollars each year on concrete flat-work, whether it be for a patio, pool-deck, sidewalk or driveway.

These homeowners depend on the regulatory efforts of the NJ Department of Consumer Affairs, which licenses and oversees concrete companies throughout the state, while also ensuring that they carry sufficient insurance coverage. That said, the Department of Consumer Affairs is overworked and understaffed, and a decent number of incompetent and unethical companies are thus able to fly under the radar. As a result, countless NJ homeowners suffer harm, incurring thousands of dollars in damages due to mislaid concrete

Poor workmanship and shoddy practices are now so rampant throughout New Jersey, that we have a national reputation for cracked, pitted and crazed concrete.  Residents and homeowners in Camden County, Gloucester County and Burlington County have grown so accustomed to these shoddy practices, that many have now come to expect cracked concrete driveways, sidewalks and pool-decks. While its true that concrete inevitably cracks, this usually takes a few years to transpire. That said, the state is experiencing a crisis of shoddy concrete-work, with many projects suffering concrete cracks and crazing months, if not weeks, after initial installation.

Few consumers and homeowners know that they have rights under New Jersey's consumer protection laws. Few consumers and homeowners realize that the court system is ready, willing and able to ensure that justice is done and that injured parties are made whole.

Not every attorney is knowledgeable about the art and science of concrete installation. That's why you need to go with a law office that not only understands the law, but the nuances that comprise the art and science of concrete installation and repair.

Concrete litigation is complex and involves the analysis of many factors. As your attorney, one of my primary duties shall be to analyze the following factors with the assistance of an expert witness:

1. Was reinforcing fabric used by the contractor?

2. Was the concrete of sufficient thickness, density and strength?

3. Were there sufficient contraction joints?

4. Were the contraction joints placed at a proper distance from each other?

5. What methodology was used for the placement of contraction-joints?

6. What type of concrete sealer was used?

a. How often does it need to be reapplied?

b. Was it a topical sealer or a penetrative sealer?

c. If a topical sealer, was it a epoxy/urethane system?

d. Was it an acrylic resin?

e. Was it comprised of Silane, Siliconate, or Siloxane?

f. What percentage of surface moisture does it keep out?

g. How soon after the concrete was laid, was the sealer applied?

7. What was the batch-time of the truck that delivered the concrete?

8. How long did it take to lay the concrete?

9. What were the weather conditions and humidity on the day of the project?

10. How many workers were there and what was their skill-level?

11. Was there a sand or rock-base beneath the slab?

12. Did the contractors do proper sub-base prep and compaction?

One thing homeowners and consumers should keep in mind when faced with sub-standard and shoddy concrete work is that many companies will not accept immediate responsibility for their negligence. Instead, they will often (a) blame the consumer, (b) blame mother nature, and (c) point to the contract and say that the cracking, crazing or discoloration is not their responsibility.

Fortunately, NJ consumer protection laws ensure a variety of remedies for dissatisfied homeowners and consumers harmed by defective concrete work.

To decrease the likelihood of consumers and homeowners being taken advantage of by unscrupulous contractors and construction companies, it is necessary for them to monitor every aspect of the project from the outset to ensure that the work is defect free. If homeowners take pictures of the project from start to finish, then their claim has crucial evidence that increases their chances of forging ahead. In addition to sufficiently documenting any and all work that takes place on your property,  consumers should also be wary of signing any contracts that disclaim cracking or crazing or ask them to waive legal warranties or rights under New Jersey law or the Consumer Fraud Act.

Most importantly---remember that time is of the essence. The more time that passes before one files suit, the more one increases the probability that the negligent contractor will be able to successfully blame the cracks on weather, or other external causes.

As a Runnemede, NJ Construction lawyer, my South Jersey Law Office regularly serves the NJ communities of Camden, Pennsauken, Delran, Willingboro, Bellmawr, Runnemede, Deptford, Woodbury, Glassboro, Westville, Gloucester Township (Blackwood, Glendora, Erial, Sicklerville, Blenheim, Lambs Terrace, Chews Landing, and Hilltop) and Washington Township, (Turnersville, Sewell, Hurffville, Grenloch, CrossKeys, Bunker Hill and Chapel Heights).

If you live in these areas, or any other area of South Jersey and have been the victim of sub-standard concrete work on your pool deck, porch, patio or driveway, then contact my office immediately for a free consultation.  I treat every client with extra-special care and go over the evidence and facts of their case, in-depth, so that no stone is unturned in their legal case.

Call us for quality, compassionate, and individualized representation 856-873-3730

 

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver.