BERT HOWE
  • Nationwide: (800) 482-1822    
    Subterranean parking Building Consultant Fairfield Connecticut tract home Building Consultant Fairfield Connecticut custom homes Building Consultant Fairfield Connecticut parking structure Building Consultant Fairfield Connecticut low-income housing Building Consultant Fairfield Connecticut office building Building Consultant Fairfield Connecticut industrial building Building Consultant Fairfield Connecticut concrete tilt-up Building Consultant Fairfield Connecticut structural steel construction Building Consultant Fairfield Connecticut housing Building Consultant Fairfield Connecticut townhome construction Building Consultant Fairfield Connecticut retail construction Building Consultant Fairfield Connecticut casino resort Building Consultant Fairfield Connecticut custom home Building Consultant Fairfield Connecticut high-rise construction Building Consultant Fairfield Connecticut landscaping construction Building Consultant Fairfield Connecticut condominium Building Consultant Fairfield Connecticut institutional building Building Consultant Fairfield Connecticut hospital construction Building Consultant Fairfield Connecticut production housing Building Consultant Fairfield Connecticut Medical building Building Consultant Fairfield Connecticut condominiums Building Consultant Fairfield Connecticut
    Fairfield Connecticut construction scheduling and change order evaluation expert witnessFairfield Connecticut construction expert witness consultantFairfield Connecticut consulting general contractorFairfield Connecticut construction cost estimating expert witnessFairfield Connecticut construction expert testimonyFairfield Connecticut construction expert witness public projectsFairfield Connecticut building envelope expert witness
    Arrange No Cost Consultation
    Building Consultant Builders Information
    Fairfield, Connecticut

    Connecticut Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: Case law precedent


    Building Consultant Contractors Licensing
    Guidelines Fairfield Connecticut

    License required for electrical and plumbing trades. No state license for general contracting, however, must register with the State.


    Building Consultant Contractors Building Industry
    Association Directory
    Home Builders & Remo Assn of Fairfield Co
    Local # 0780
    433 Meadow St
    Fairfield, CT 06824

    Fairfield Connecticut Building Consultant 10/ 10

    Builders Association of Eastern Connecticut
    Local # 0740
    20 Hartford Rd Suite 18
    Salem, CT 06420

    Fairfield Connecticut Building Consultant 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of New Haven Co
    Local # 0720
    2189 Silas Deane Highway
    Rocky Hill, CT 06067

    Fairfield Connecticut Building Consultant 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of Hartford Cty Inc
    Local # 0755
    2189 Silas Deane Hwy
    Rocky Hill, CT 06067

    Fairfield Connecticut Building Consultant 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of NW Connecticut
    Local # 0710
    110 Brook St
    Torrington, CT 06790

    Fairfield Connecticut Building Consultant 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of Connecticut (State)
    Local # 0700
    3 Regency Dr Ste 204
    Bloomfield, CT 06002

    Fairfield Connecticut Building Consultant 10/ 10


    Building Consultant News and Information
    For Fairfield Connecticut


    The California Legislature Passes SB 496 Limiting Design Professional Defense and Indemnity Obligations

    Colorado’s Three-Bill Approach to Alleged Construction Defect Issues

    Park Avenue Is About to Get Something It Hasn’t Seen in 40 Years

    Renters Trading Size for Frills Fuel U.S. Apartment Boom

    New Jersey Court Adopts Continuous Trigger for Construction Defect Claims

    The Cheapest Place to Buy a House in the Hamptons

    Construction Insurance Costs for New York Schools is Going Up

    U.S. Construction Value Flat at End of Summer

    New York Public Library’s “Most Comprehensive Renovation” In Its History

    TV Kitchen Remodelers Sued for Shoddy Work

    Study Finds San Francisco Bay is Sinking Faster than Expected

    Tests Find Pollution From N.C. Coal Ash Site Hit by Florence Within Acceptable Levels

    Primer Debuts on Life-Cycle Assessments of Embodied Carbon in Buildings

    Trump Soho May Abandon Condos to Operate Mainly as Hotel

    Eleventh Circuit Asks Georgia Supreme Court if Construction Defects Are Caused by an "Occurrence"

    Settling with Some, But Not All, of the Defendants in a Construction Defect Case

    Study May Come Too Late for Construction Defect Bill

    Delaware Settlements with Minors and the Uniform Transfer to Minor Act

    Construction Venture Sues LAX for Nonpayment

    A Lot of Cheap Housing Is About to Get Very Expensive

    Do Change Orders Need to be in Writing and Other Things That Might Surprise You

    Green Buildings Could Lead to Liabilities

    $24 Million Verdict Against Material Supplier Overturned Where Plaintiff Failed To Prove Supplier’s Negligence Or Breach Of Contract Caused A SB800 Violation

    Tidal Lagoon Plans Marine Project to Power Every Home in Wales

    Why a Challenge to Philadelphia’s Project Labor Agreement Would Be Successful

    Don’t Get Caught Holding the Bag: Hold the State Liable When General Contractor Fails to Pay on a Public Project

    The EPA’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule: Are Contractors Aware of It?

    Assert a Party’s Noncompliance of Conditions Precedent with Particularity

    OSHA Issues New Rules on Injury Record Keeping

    Gen Xers Choose to Rent rather than Buy

    What is the True Value of Rooftop Solar Panels?

    Indemnity Payment to Insured Satisfies SIR

    KONE is Shaking Up the Industry with BIM

    Washington Court Tunnels Deeper Into the Discovery Rule

    Midview Board of Education Lawsuit Over Construction Defect Repairs

    How Small Mistakes Can Have Serious Consequences Under California's Contractor Licensing Laws.

    PSA: Performing Construction Work in Virginia Requires a Contractor’s License

    Delaware Strengthens Jurisdictional Defenses for Foreign Corporations Registered to Do Business in Delaware

    Minimum Wage on Federal Construction Projects is $10.10

    William Lyon Homes Unites with Polygon Northwest Company

    NAHB Speaks Out Against the Clean Water Act Expansion

    Drones, Googleplexes and Hyperloops

    Under the Hood of U.S. Construction Spending Is Revised Data

    Conflicting Exclusions Result in Duty to Defend

    Mississippi exclusions j(5) and j(6) “that particular part”

    CSLB “Fast Facts” for Online Home Improvement Marketplaces

    Ex-Detroit Demolition Official Sentenced for Taking Bribes

    Hurricane Harvey: Understanding the Insurance Aspects, Immediate Actions for Risk Managers

    Who Will Pay for San Francisco's $750 Million Tilting Tower?

    Equitable Subrogation Part Deux: Mechanic’s Lien vs. Later Bank Deed of Trust
    Corporate Profile

    FAIRFIELD CONNECTICUT BUILDING CONSULTANT
    DIRECTORY AND CAPABILITIES

    The Fairfield, Connecticut Building Consultant Group at BHA, leverages from the experience gained through more than 7,000 construction related expert witness designations encompassing a wide spectrum of construction related disputes. Drawing from this considerable body of experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to Fairfield's most recognized construction litigation practitioners, commercial general liability carriers, owners, construction practice groups, as well as a variety of state and local government agencies.

    Building Consultant News & Info
    Fairfield, Connecticut

    California Attempts to Tackle Housing Affordability Crisis

    December 22, 2019 —
    It’s a bit too early yet for our 2020 Construction Law Update but here’s a preview of some of the new laws taking effect next year. Earlier this month, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a slate of 18 bills to boost housing production in an effort to tackle the state’s housing affordability crisis. First, a bit of background. California currently ranks 49th among the states in housing units per resident. Experts say that the state needs to double its current rate of housing production of 85,000 unit per year just to keep up with population growth and four times the current rate to reduce housing costs. Anecdotally, here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartments in San Francisco is currently $3,690 per month or $44,280 per year. However, as of May 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, the annual mean wage of a teller is just $32,840, for farmworkers $34,700, and for teachers $48,250. And that’s before taxes. Let that sink in for a moment. The result is one in five Californians live in poverty, the highest rate in the nation, when factoring in the cost of living. Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Garret Murai, Nomos LLP
    Mr. Murai may be contacted at gmurai@nomosllp.com

    SEC Recommendations to Protect Against Cybersecurity Threats

    March 09, 2020 —
    What Happened? The Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations ("OCIE") issued a detailed report on January 27, 2020 regarding various ways for organizations to safeguard data and protect against security and data breaches. Cyber threat actors are now invading data in a more sophisticated manner than ever before, and implementation of the SEC's recommended practices are essential in order to protect from outside vulnerabilities. What is at Risk? If market participants fail to implement these recommended policies, they will become more vulnerable to external attacks and data breaches. This can weaken an organization or firm if all employees are not properly trained and informed of the increasing dangers of cybersecurity breaches. What Can You Do to Protect Yourself from a Cybersecurity Threat? 1. Governance and Risk Management. Senior leaders should make efforts to improve the cyber safety at their organization. Some of these efforts may include:
    • Devote attention to overseeing the organization's cybersecurity and resilience programs;
    • Develop a risk assessment process to identify and mitigate cybersecurity risks to the organization;
    • Adopt and implement policies and procedures regarding these risks;
    • Promptly respond and adapt to changes by updating policies and procedures when necessary; and
    • Establish communication policies and procedures to provide timely information to customers, employees, and others when needed.
    2. Access Rights and Controls. Implement updated controls to determine appropriate users for organization systems, limit access as appropriate to authorized users (including the set-up of multi-factor authentication) and monitor user access. 3. Data Loss Prevention. OCIE has recommended various important data loss prevention measures for organizations:
    • Establish a vulnerability management program;
    • Implement capabilities that can monitor network traffic and detect threats on endpoints;
    • Establish a patch management program covering all software and hardware;
    • Maintain an inventory of hardware and software assets;
    • Encrypt data and implement network segmentation;
    • Create an insider threat program to monitor any suspicious behaviors; and
    • Secure legacy systems and equipment through disposal of sensitive information from hardware and software and by reassessing vulnerability and risk assessments.
    4. Mobile Security. Establish policies and procedures for mobile device use, manage use of mobile devices through a mobile device management application, implement security measures for internal and external users, and train employees on mobile device policies and effective practices. 5. Incident Response and Resiliency. Detect and disclose material information regarding incidents in a timely manner and assess appropriateness of corrective actions taken in response to incidents. Organizations should develop a plan if an incident occurs, address applicable reporting requirements, assign staff to execute specific areas of the plan, and test and assess the plan. In the event that a data breach occurs, an organization should improve its resiliency by maintaining an inventory of core business services and prioritizing business operations based on an assessment of risks. 6. Vendor Management. Establish a vendor management program to ensure that vendors meet your organization's security requirements. Organizations should aim to understand all contract terms with vendors to ensure that all parties are in agreement regarding risk and security. Organizations should also monitor third-party vendors and ensure that the vendor continues to meet the organization's security requirements. 7. Training and Awareness. Train staff to implement cybersecurity policies of the organization. Organizations should provide cybersecurity and resiliency training and re-evaluate the effectiveness of training procedures. A Final Reminder for Organizations Organizations should strive to implement as many of the SEC's recommended protection measures as possible. Ensuring that senior members of an organization are leading the initiative in increased awareness about cybersecurity threats through training of employees will lead to greater cyber safety for the overall organization. Although prevention of all breaches cannot be guaranteed, developing data loss prevention plans to keep the organization and its core businesses safe from attack will benefit the entire organization. How We Can Help If you feel that your business falls below the SEC's recommended security measures, our firm can assist with compliance. Contact us for a free initial consultation to determine a reasonable and practical way for your business to become compliant with these guidelines. Shaia Araghi is an associate in the firm's Privacy & Data Security, and supports the team in advising clients on cyber-related matters, including compliance and prevention that can protect their day-to-day operations. For more information on how Shaia can help, contact her at shaia.araghi@ndlf.com. Jeff Dennis (CIPP/US) is the Head of the firm's Privacy & Data Security practice. Jeff works with the firm's clients on cyber-related issues, including contractual and insurance opportunities to lessen their risk. For more information on how Jeff can help, contact him at jeff.dennis@ndlf.com. About Newmeyer Dillion For 35 years, Newmeyer Dillion has delivered creative and outstanding legal solutions and trial results that achieve client objectives in diverse industries. With over 70 attorneys working as a cohesive team to represent clients in all aspects of business, employment, real estate, environmental/land use, privacy & data security and insurance law, Newmeyer Dillion delivers holistic and integrated legal services tailored to propel each client's success and bottom line. Headquartered in Newport Beach, California, with offices in Walnut Creek, California and Las Vegas, Nevada, Newmeyer Dillion attorneys are recognized by The Best Lawyers in America©, and Super Lawyers as top tier and some of the best lawyers in California and Nevada, and have been given Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review's AV Preeminent® highest rating. For additional information, call 949.854.7000 or visit www.newmeyerdillion.com. Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of

    Hunton’s Geoffrey Fehling Confirmed to DC Bar Foundation’s Young Lawyers Network Leadership Council

    December 30, 2019 —
    Congratulations to Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP insurance recovery lawyer, Geoffrey Fehling, on his confirmation by the DC Bar Foundation’s Board of Directors to the organization’s Young Lawyers Network Leadership Council. As the leading funder of civil legal aid in the District of Columbia, DCBF awards grants to the District’s legal services organizations that provide free civil legal services to low-income and underserved people in the District. Since its inception, DCBF has awarded more than $80 million in grants. Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Michael S. Levine, Hunton Andrews Kurth
    Mr. Levine may be contacted at mlevine@HuntonAK.com

    How AB5 has Changed the Employment Landscape

    March 16, 2020 —
    As a result of California's Assembly Bill 5, effective January 1, 2020, the California Supreme Court's ABC test is now the standard for evaluating independent contractor classifications for purposes of the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders, California Labor Code, and the California Unemployment Insurance Code. That dramatically ups the ante for companies that rely on independent contractors, particularly those that have not re-evaluated such classifications under the ABC test. Misclassification cases can be devastating, especially for misclassified non-exempt employees, and can result in minimum wage violations, missed meal and rest periods, unpaid overtime, unreimbursed business expenses, record-keeping violations, steep penalties, attorneys' fees, and even criminal liability, among other consequences. Misclassifying workers creates enormous risks for companies and is fertile ground for class actions and representative actions under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). The Costs Of Misclassification Are Expensive, And Hope Is Not A Strategy Many business owners I speak to understand AB5 has caused the ground to shift beneath their feet and recognize the resulting risks of misclassifying workers. Despite these risks, companies often balk at taking the necessary steps to evaluate their classifications and mitigate the risk of an adverse classification finding. The most common reason I hear from resistant companies is the worker does not want to be reclassified as an employee and the company trusts the worker ("I've worked with her for years; she won't sue me because she wants to be a contractor"). I get it. Making the change from contractor to employee results in less flexibility and greater administrative burden for everyone involved. While I'm sympathetic, the government is not. Reluctance to change while acknowledging the associated risks amounts to a strategy based on hope. As we say in the Marine Corps, however, "hope is not a strategy." Aside from the sometimes foolhardy belief that a misclassified worker can be trusted to not file suit after a business breakup (when the deposits stop and mortgage bill comes due, guess who's a prime target), companies often fail to recognize the numerous ways in which their classification decisions can be challenged even when they are in agreement with their (misclassified) contractors. Here are just three examples of how your classifications can be scrutinized despite the lack of a challenge by the worker:
    • Auto Accidents: Whether delivering products, making sales calls, or traveling between job sites, independent contractors often perform work that requires driving. Of course, sometimes drivers are involved in automobile accidents. When accidents happen, insurance companies step in and look for sources of money to fund claims, attorneys' fees, costs, and settlements. One potential source is your insurance. "But the driver isn't my employee!," you say. You better buckle up because the other motorist's insurance carrier is about to challenge your classification in an attempt to access your insurance policies.
    • EDD Audits: During the course of the last several years, the California Employment Development Department (EDD) has increased the number of verification (random) audits it performs in search of additional tax revenue. One reason government agencies prefer hiring entities classifying workers as employees rather than independent contractors is it's a more efficient tax collection method; employers collect employees' taxes on the government's behalf, which increases collection rates and reduces government collection costs. The consequences of misclassification include pricey fines, penalties, and interest.
    • Unemployment Insurance, Workers' Compensation, and Disability Claims: In addition to verification audits, the EDD performs request (targeted) audits. Targeted audits may result when a contractor files an unemployment insurance, workers' compensation, or disability claim because independent contractors are ineligible for such benefits. Request audits, like verification audits, can result in costly fines, penalties, and interest if the EDD concludes you have misclassified your workers. Even so, that may not be the worst of it: the EDD often shares its findings with the Internal Revenue Service.
    Your Action Plan AB5 has changed the measuring stick, misclassification costs are high, and you do not have complete control of when the government or others can challenge your classifications. So what can you do? Here are several steps all prudent companies should take if they are using independent contractors:
    • Conduct an audit of current classification practices;
    • Review written independent contractor agreements;
    • Implement written independent contractor agreements;
    • Update workplace policies;
    • Update organizational charts;
    • Reclassify independent contractors as employees if necessary.
    Jason Morris is a partner in the Newport Beach office of Newmeyer Dillion. Jason's practice concentrates on the areas of labor and employment and business litigation. He advises employers and business owners in employment litigation, as well as advice and counsel related to employment policies and investigations. You can reach him at jason.morris@ndlf.com. About Newmeyer Dillion For 35 years, Newmeyer Dillion has delivered creative and outstanding legal solutions and trial results that achieve client objectives in diverse industries. With over 70 attorneys working as a cohesive team to represent clients in all aspects of business, employment, real estate, environmental/land use, privacy & data security and insurance law, Newmeyer Dillion delivers holistic and integrated legal services tailored to propel each client's success and bottom line. Headquartered in Newport Beach, California, with offices in Walnut Creek, California and Las Vegas, Nevada, Newmeyer Dillion attorneys are recognized by The Best Lawyers in America©, and Super Lawyers as top tier and some of the best lawyers in California and Nevada, and have been given Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review's AV Preeminent® highest rating. For additional information, call 949.854.7000 or visit www.newmeyerdillion.com. Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of

    SB 939 Proposes Moratorium On Unlawful Detainer Actions For Commercial Tenants And Allows Tenants Who Can't Renegotiate Their Lease In Good Faith To Terminate Their Lease Without Liability

    June 01, 2020 —
    SB 939 is currently working its way through the Senate Judiciary Committee. The legislation would impose new obligations on landlords, and provide protections for commercial tenants who meet specified criteria. SB 939 would impose a moratorium on eviction of those qualified commercial tenants while emergency COVID-19 orders are in effect. Any eviction actions commenced after the date of the emergency COVID-19 order, but before the adoption of SB 939, would be void and unenforceable. The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing for SB 939 on May 22, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. Who qualifies as a commercial tenant under SB 939? To qualify under this legislation, a commercial tenant must be a business that operates primarily in California. The commercial tenant must be a small business, nonprofit, an eating or drinking establishment, place of entertainment, or performance venue. Publicly traded companies or any company owned by, or affiliated with a publicly traded company, do not qualify. The commercial tenant must have experienced a decline of at least 40 percent monthly revenue, either as compared to two months before the emergency COVID-19 order, or other local government shelter-in-place orders took effect, or as compared to the same month in 2019. If the commercial tenant is an eating or drinking establishment, place of entertainment, or performance venue, the commercial tenant must also show a decline of 25 percent or more in capacity due to social or physical distancing orders or safety concerns, and show that it is subject to regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 that will financially impair the business when compared to the period before the emergency COVID-19 order or other local shelter-in-place orders took effect. What eviction actions are prohibited while emergency COVID-19 orders are in effect? If adopted, SB 939 would add Section 1951.9 to the Civil Code. This section would make it unlawful to terminate a tenancy, serve notice to terminate a tenancy, use lockout or utility shutoff actions to terminate a tenancy or otherwise evict a tenant of commercial real property, including a business or nonprofit, during the pendency of the COVID-19 emergency order proclaimed by Governor Newsome on March 4, 2020. Exceptions apply if a tenant poses a threat to the property, other tenants or a person, business or other entity. Any violations of this eviction prohibition would be against public policy and unenforceable. Any eviction started after proclamation of the state of emergency but before the effective date is deemed void, against public policy and is unenforceable. Does SB 939 impose new penalties or remedies? Any landlord who harasses, mistreats or retaliates against a commercial tenant to force the tenant to abrogate the lease would be subject to a fine of $2,000 for each violation. Further, any such violation would be an unlawful business practice and an act of unfair competition under Section 17200 of the Business and Professions Code and would be subject to all available remedies or penalties for those actions under state law. When is a commercial tenant required to pay unpaid rent due to COVID-19? If a commercial tenant fails to pay rent during the emergency COVID-19 order, the sum total of the past due rent must be paid within 12 months following the date of the end of the emergency proclamation, unless the commercial tenant has successfully negotiated an agreement with its landlord to pay the outstanding rent at a later date. Nonpayment of rent during the state of emergency cannot be used as grounds for eviction. Notwithstanding lease terms to the contrary, landlords may not impose late charges for rent that became due during the state of emergency. Are landlords required to provide notice of protections adopted under SB 939? Landlords would be required to provide notice to commercial tenants of the protections offered under SB 939 within 30 days of the effective date. SB 939 does not preempt local legislation or ordinances restricting the same or similar conduct which impose a more severe penalty for the same conduct. Local legislation or ordinances may impose additional notice requirements. Does SB 939 impose new protections for commercial tenants when negotiating lease modifications? If enacted, SB 939 would permit commercial tenants to open negotiations for new lease terms, and provide commercial tenants the ability to terminate the lease if those negotiations fail. A commercial tenant who wishes to modify its commercial lease, may engage in good faith negotiations with its landlord to modify any rent or economic requirement regardless of the term remaining on the lease. The commercial tenant must serve a notice on the landlord certifying that it meets the required criteria, along with the desired modifications. If the commercial tenant and landlord do not reach a mutually satisfactory agreement within 30 days, then within 10 days, the commercial tenant may terminate the lease without any liability for future rent, fees, or costs that otherwise may have been due under the lease by providing a written termination notice to the landlord. The commercial tenant would be required to pay previously due rent, in an amount no greater than the sum of the following: (1) the actual rent due during the emergency COVID-19 order, or a maximum of three months of the past due rent during that period, and (2) all rent incurred and unpaid during a time unrelated to the emergency COVID-19 order through the date of the termination notice. The payment is due within 12 months from date of the termination notice. The commercial tenant would be required to vacate the premises within 14 days of the landlord's receipt of the termination notice. Upon service of the notice, any lease, and any third party guaranties of the lease would terminate. If the landlord and commercial tenant reach an agreement to modify the lease, the commercial tenant would not have the option to later terminate the lease under this provision. When is the next Senate Judiciary Committee Meeting for SB 939? The Senate Judiciary Committee set a hearing for SB 939 on May 22, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. The Senate will livestream the hearing on its website at www.sen.ca.gov. Public comments or testimony may be submitted in writing to the Judiciary Committee by emailing Erica.porter@sen.ca.gov. Alternatively, the public may participate via telephone during the public comment period. Any changes to the Judicial Committee schedule may be found at: https://www.senate.ca.gov/calendar. Newmeyer Dillion continues to follow COVID-19 and its impact on your business and our communities. Feel free to reach out to us at NDcovid19response@ndlf.com or visit us at www.newmeyerdillion.com/covid-19-multidisciplinary-task-force/. Rhonda Kreger is Senior Counsel on Newmeyer Dillion's transactional team at our Newport Beach office. Her practice focuses on all aspects of commercial real estate law, with a particular emphasis on the representation of residential developers, merchant builders and institutional investors. You can reach Rhonda at rhonda.kreger@ndlf.com. Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of

    The Washington Supreme Court Rules that a Holder of a Certificate of Insurance Is Entitled to Coverage

    March 09, 2020 —
    The Washington courts have historically found that the purpose of a certificate of insurance is to advise others as to the existence of insurance, but that a certificate is not the equivalent of an insurance policy. However, the Washington State Supreme Court recently held that, under certain circumstances, an insurer may be bound by the representations that its insurance agent makes in a certificate of insurance as to the additional insured (“AI”) status of a third party. Specifically, in T-Mobile USA, Inc. v. Selective Ins. Co. of America, the Supreme Court found that where an insurance agent had erroneously indicated in a certificate of insurance that an entity was an AI under a liability policy, that entity would be considered as an AI based upon the agent’s apparent authority, despite boilerplate disclaimer language contained in the certificate. T-Mobile USA, Inc. v. Selective Ins. Co. of America, Slip. Op. No. 96500-5, 2019 WL 5076647 (Wash. Oct. 10, 2019). In this case, Selective Insurance Company of America (“Selective”) issued a liability policy to a contractor who had been retained by T-Mobile Northeast (“T-Mobile NE”) to construct a cell tower. The policy conferred AI status to a third party if the insured-contractor had agreed in a written contract to add the third party as an AI to the policy. Under the terms of the subject construction contract, the contractor was required to name T-Mobile NE as an AI under the policy. T-Mobile NE was therefore properly considered as an AI because the contractor was required to provide AI coverage to T-Mobile NE under the terms of their contract. However, over the course of approximately seven years, Selective’s own insurance agent issued a series of certificates of insurance that erroneously identified a different company, “T-Mobile USA”, as an AI under the policy. This was in error because there was no contractual requirement that T-Mobile USA be added as an AI. Nonetheless, the certificates stated that T-Mobile USA was an AI, and they were signed by the agent as Selective’s “authorized representative.” Reprinted courtesy of Sally S. Kim, Gordon & Rees and Kyle J. Silk-Eglit, Gordon & Rees Ms. Kim may be contacted at sallykim@grsm.com Mr. Silk-Eglit may be contacted at ksilkeglit@grsm.com Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of

    Florida District Court Finds That “Unrelated” Design Errors Sufficient to Trigger “Related Claims” Provision in Architects & Engineers Policy

    March 02, 2020 —
    Most professional liability polices include some form of a “related claims” provision that generally provides where two or more claims or wrongful acts are causally or logically related, they will be deemed to constitute a single claim. Importantly, these provisions typically provide that those “claims” are then deemed to have been “first made” at the time the first claim or act was committed for purposes of the policy’s claims-made and reporting requirements. Understandably, these provisions provide insurers and insureds with some clarity over the number and timing of claims that could involve multiple errors or omissions, and potentially aggregate all related claims or acts into a single policy period. While reasonable in principle, application of such provisions, especially involving large scale design and construction projects, is not always so easy. Nova Southeastern University, Inc. v. Continental Cas. Co., 18-cv-61842 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 27, 2019), involved such an insurance coverage dispute with a design project gone wrong. DeRose Design Consultants, Inc. (“DeRose”) was hired as a structural engineer to design “ice tanks” to store and chill water for an energy efficient air conditioning facility constructed on the campus of Nova Southeastern University (“NSU”). An early water test on one of the tanks determined the walls of the ice tank deflected, leaked, and cracked when the tank was filled with water. DeRose later discovered that the problems with the ice tank were caused by a structural design error. The first errors were discovered in early 2009, and reported under DeRose’s professional liability policy with Evanston. DeRose then created a remedial design to repair the tanks, which involved strengthening repairs. Additional leaking and an early indication of corrosion involving the Remedial Design arose as early as October 25, 2009. Several field investigation reports were prepared in 2011 and 2012 confirming these issues with the Remedial Design. A third report in February 2012, however, identified a new error involving the concrete slab under the ice tanks also designed by DeRose. The third report concluded that the concreate slab was overstressed and could not handle the loads of the ice tanks. The report also concluded, however, that the design defects in the concrete slab were “unrelated” to the original design defect of the ice tank walls or Remedial Design. Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Jason Taylor, Traub Lieberman
    Mr. Taylor may be contacted at jtaylor@tlsslaw.com

    Social Distancing and the Impact on Service of Process Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

    April 13, 2020 —
    Service of process usually requires person-to-person contact and is an essential part of civil procedure. It notifies the defendant of the legal proceedings against him/her and establishes jurisdiction. “Process” refers to the documents that must be served on a defendant. If service of process is not performed pursuant to the governing rules of civil procedure, a lawsuit cannot proceed. Service of Process in NJ and PA Personal service is required to be the first attempted means of service in New Jersey. If personal service is not successful, then service may be made by mailing a copy of the process via registered or certified mail with return receipt requested to the defendant’s usual place of abode or business/place of employment, or to an authorized agent. The party attempting to serve the defendant by mail can choose to mail the process by regular mail as well, and if the defendant refuses to accept or claim the registered or certified copy, and the regular mail copy is not returned, then service is considered effectuated. Pennsylvania allows for a defendant to be served via personal service by handing a copy to the defendant or by delivering a copy to an adult family household member at the defendant’s residence. Pennsylvania also permits service of process by mail. Process can be served by mail requiring a signature of the defendant. If the mail is unclaimed, alternative service must be attempted. Reprinted courtesy of White and Williams attorneys Robert Devine, James Burger and Susan Zingone Mr. Devine may be contacted at deviner@whiteandwilliams.com Mr. Burger may be contacted at burgerj@whiteandwilliams.com Ms. Zingone may be contacted at zingones@whiteandwilliams.com Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of