Slavin Doctrine and Defense from Patent Defects

CDJ-Risk Factors Pencil On Contract

The Slavin doctrine protects contractors from liability for injuries to third parties by presuming that the owner has made a “reasonably careful inspection” of the contractor’s work prior to accepting it as completed.

June 13, 2018
David Adelstein - Florida Construction Legal Updates

The Slavin doctrine is an affirmative defense primarily geared to the personal injury context designed to protect contractors from third-party negligence-type claims when an owner accepts a patent defect.

The Slavin doctrine protects contractors from liability for injuries to third parties by presuming that the owner has made a “reasonably careful inspection” of the contractor’s work prior to accepting it as completed; if the owner accepts the contractor’s work as complete and an alleged defect is patent, then the owner “accepts the defects and the negligence that caused them as his own,” and the contractor will no longer be liable for the patent defect.

Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at dadelstein@gmail.com



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