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Jeremy Rappoport
Jeremy Rappoport
Jeremy Rappoport, President of Rappoport Development Consulting Services LLC, provides arborist, landscape, horticulture and land development expert witness consulting services and commercial consulting and sub-consultant to landscape architects, civil engineers and environmental consultants.
Posted in Law / General / Trial Services

Irrigation Construction Defect Can Cause Serious Injury or Property Loss

Mar. 24, 2011 3:28 pm

Its a sunny day, you are taking a walk across a planter area and trip over a sprinkler head sticking up out of the ground. No big deal unless you happen to trip and fall, possibly injuring yourself. Maybe you were driving and noticed a geyser of water shooting out of a broken irrigation main, flooding the street or adjacent property.

Most people don't think twice about sprinkler systems in either the public or private sector. After all, sprinklers simply water the landscape, otherwise not much else is considered until they cause an accident, property loss and resultant lawsuit. In a lawsuit, the plaintiff attempts to prove the defendant failed to satisfy the standard of care required of that profession.

In landscape irrigation construction defect and negligence cases, establishing the standard of care can be challenging due to the various levels of professionalism within the industry. As part of my continuing monthly publications, I wrote an article for plaintiff and defendant attorneys, property owners, contractors and others interested in landscape and irrigation construction negligence cases on irrigation standard of care.

"A tired executive returns home in the evening from a long day at work, while walking along the pathway to the front door he trips over a sprinkler head in the adjacent planter bed, looses his balance and falls awkwardly, breaking his neck, suffering paralysis from the neck down.

While attending a crowded outdoor festival, a family decides they want some ice cream, but the sidewalk to the store is packed with people attending the outdoor event, so they decide to follow others and take a short cut across a planter area to avoid the crowd. The mother trips and falls over an irrigation remote control valve box, resulting in a broken ankle, lost work, and a long painful rehabilitation.

A general contractor directs the landscape sub-contractor to install a temporary irrigation hi-line above grade. Over a holiday weekend, the irrigation hi-line breaks, flooding the work site and destroying the open footing trenches. The general contractor sues the landscape contractor for defective work and resultant damages exceeding 100K.

If you are a construction negligence and defect attorney, you have most likely encountered cases similar to the examples noted above. From my experience, irrigation systems and their components are the cause for many landscape construction defect cases."

Full article Irrigation Standard of Care

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