The company says investigations are under way to determine liability, but some investors took advantage of the bad news to buy up shares in what is seen as steady stock.
The positive feelings buzzing around the Square Mile were helped by the company's upbeat trading statement and an order book 21% higher than this time last year, at £419m, as well as news that it had bought south-west specialist housebuilder Knapp Group for £4m.
Meanwhile, Laing Homes, the only bright spot on Laing's gloomy horizon, has also increased its stake in niche housebuilder Octagon Developments after a partial management buyout.
Laing now owns 30% of the Surrey-based housebuilder and the company's management holds 30.1%. Bank of Scotland, which financed the deal, holds 19.9% and company founders Roger Wyatt and David James own the remaining 20%.
The company specialises in high-quality developments in London. Its average selling price is £1m.