Noneconomic Damages in Colorado Construction Defect Cases

Those who find themselves facing defects in the construction of their home are often upset with their circumstances. Many of our clients have expressed anger, discomfort, and disruption of their daily lives due to damages caused by construction defects. In Colorado, homeowners are able to request compensation for these inconveniences – these are typically known as noneconomic damages.

Colorado law allows a person who owns property affected by construction defects to recover monetary damages for “inconvenience, emotional stress, and impairment of the quality of life.”[1] These damages extend to co-owners of property, even those who may not live at the property on a full-time basis.

This issue was addressed by the Colorado Court of Appeals in Hildebrand v. New Vista Homes, II, LLC.[2] The case required the court to consider whether or not an out-of-state co-owner of property could be awarded noneconomic damages. The court held that a father who co-owned a residence with his son could recover noneconomic damages even though his presence at the home was intermittent.[3]

The case involved damage to a brand-new home resulting from basement floor movement. The co-owner son testified that he was inconvenienced because his home was an investment and his sanctuary, and he became angry and sleepless after discovering the damage.[4] The co-owner father also testified he was inconvenienced by the damage when he would periodically visit his son and stay in the home because he had tripped over unlevel stairs leading to the basement, the damages prevented him from finishing the basement, and he could not use a pool table and ping-pong table that he had purchased to use in the basement.[5]

The Hildebrand court held that an award of noneconomic damages for both the son and father were appropriate under Colorado law because both owned the affected property.[6] Specifically, the court held that the out-of-state father’s right to occupy the property entitled him the right to recover inconvenience damages to the extent he occupied the house during his visits.[7]

If you have construction defects, you may be entitled to several different types of damages including personal injury damages and other noneconomic damages. Call Johnson Law today to discuss your circumstances and explore available solutions.

[1] C.R.S. § 13-21-102.5(2)(b).

[2] 252 P.3d 1159 (Colo. App. 2010).

[3] 252 P.3d at 1172-1173.

[4] Hildbrand, 252 P.3d at 1171.

[5] Id. at 1172.

[6] Id. at 1172-1173.

[7] Id. at 1173.

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