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    Florida Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: In Title XXXIII Chapter 558, the Florida Legislature establishes a requirement that homeowners who allege construction defects must first notify the construction professional responsible for the defect and allow them an opportunity to repair the defect before the homeowner canbring suit against the construction professional. The statute, which allows homeowners and associations to file claims against certain types of contractors and others, defines the type of defects that fall under the authority of the legislation and the types of housing covered in thelegislation. Florida sets strict procedures that homeowners must follow in notifying construction professionals of alleged defects. The law also establishes strict timeframes for builders to respond to homeowner claims. Once a builder has inspected the unit, the law allows the builder to offer to repair or settle by paying the owner a sum to cover the cost of repairing the defect. The homeowner has the option of accepting the offer or rejecting the offer and filing suit. Under the statute the courts must abate any homeowner legal action until the homeowner has undertaken the claims process. The law also requires contractors, subcontractors and other covered under the law to notify homeowners of the right to cure process.

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    Commercial and Residential Contractors License Required.

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    Tri-County Home Builders
    Local # 1073
    PO Box 420
    Marianna, FL 32447

    Chattahoochee Florida Building Consultant 10/ 10

    Tallahassee Builders Association Inc
    Local # 1064
    1835 Fiddler Court
    Tallahassee, FL 32308

    Chattahoochee Florida Building Consultant 10/ 10

    Building Industry Association of Okaloosa-Walton Cos
    Local # 1056
    1980 Lewis Turner Blvd
    Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547

    Chattahoochee Florida Building Consultant 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of West Florida
    Local # 1048
    4400 Bayou Blvd Suite 45
    Pensacola, FL 32503

    Chattahoochee Florida Building Consultant 10/ 10

    Florida Home Builders Association (State)
    Local # 1000
    PO Box 1259
    Tallahassee, FL 32302

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    Columbia County Builders Association
    Local # 1007
    PO Box 7353
    Lake City, FL 32055

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    Northeast Florida Builders Association
    Local # 1024
    103 Century 21 Dr Ste 100
    Jacksonville, FL 32216

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    Building Consultant News and Information
    For Chattahoochee Florida

    Allegations that Carrier Failed to Adequately Investigate Survive Demurrer

    2017 Construction Outlook: Slow, Mature Growth, but No Decline, Expected

    Construction Law Alert: Unlicensed Contractors On Federal Projects Entitled To Payment Under The Miller Act

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    The Chattahoochee, Florida Building Consultant Group is comprised from a number of credentialed construction professionals possessing extensive trial support experience relevant to construction defect and claims matters. Leveraging from more than 25 years experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to the nation's most recognized construction litigation practitioners, Fortune 500 builders, commercial general liability carriers, owners, construction practice groups, and a variety of state and local government agencies.

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    Chattahoochee, Florida

    Allocating Covered and Uncovered Damages in Jury Verdict

    March 01, 2021 —
    When a liability insurer defends an insured from a third-party claim, they oftentimes do so under a reservation of rights. A reservation of rights letter is issued to the insured that identifies certain coverage exclusions or reservations relative to the insurance policy that may impact the insurer’s duty to indemnify the insured for damages. In other words, just because the insurer is defending its insured does not mean it will be indemnifying its insured for damages asserted in the third-party claim.
    Under Florida law, the party claiming insurance coverage has the initial burden to show that a settlement or judgment represents damages that fall within the coverage provisions of the insurance policy. An insured’s inability to allocate the amount of a judgment between covered and uncovered damages is therefore generally fatal to its indemnification claim. However, the burden of apportioning or allocating between covered and uncovered damages in a general jury verdict may be shifted to the insurer if the insurer did not adequately make known to the insured the availability and advisability of a special verdict. QBE Specialty Ins. Co. v. Scrap Inc., 806 Fed.Appx. 692, *695 (11th Cir. 2020) (internal citations omitted).
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at

    Boston Construction Bands With Health Care to Fight COVID-19

    January 11, 2021 —
    Trade union leaders, construction executives and international health care experts are teaming up in Boston o stop the spread of COVID-19 in the city’s booming construction sector. The coalition unveiled a program called Construction Stops COVID on Dec. 22. The testing, tracing and treatment initiative targets tens of thousands of hard-hatted workers toiling on construction sites across the city. Reprinted courtesy of Scott Van Voorhis, Engineering News-Record ENR may be contacted at Read the full story... Read the court decision
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    Getting U.S to Zero Carbon Will Take a $2.5 Trillion Investment by 2030

    December 29, 2020 —
    It’s going to take $2.5 trillion in spending over the next decade to get the U.S. on a path to a carbon-free economy, but the transition will help to pay for itself, Princeton University researchers say. Achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 -- a central goal of President-elect Joe Biden’s climate plan -- would require expanding renewable-energy systems, building more efficient homes and putting 50 million electric cars on the road, according to a report released Tuesday. The effort, two years in the making, is the first major assessment since the election detailing how the U.S. can transition to an energy system that satisfies scientific guidance for keeping the climate livable. While the upfront costs are significant, they would be offset by savings associated with switching to cheaper electricity and the creation of as many as 1 million new jobs, according to the researchers, who shared an earlier draft with Biden’s transition team. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Will Wade & Eric Roston, Bloomberg

    Economic Loss Rule Bars Claims Against Manufacturer

    November 02, 2020 —
    The economic loss rule lives to bar a claim against a product manufacturer in a real estate transaction. In a products liability action, there needs to be personal injury or property damage, other than to the property itself, in order to recover economic damages. Otherwise, the economic loss rule will bar the recovery of such economic losses when the economic losses deal to the product itself. This is important to keep in mind in any product liability action against a manufacturer. In a recent case, 2711 Hollywood Beach Condominium Assoc’n, Inc., v. TRG Holiday, Ltd., 45 Fla. L. Weekly D2179a (Fla. 3d DCA 2020), a condominium association purchased the condominium from the developer. Subsequently, it noticed leaks with the fire suppression system in the condominium and sued multiple parties for damages for repairs due to the leaks and the replacement of the fire suppression system. One of the parties sued in negligence and strict liability was a manufacturer of pipe fittings used in the fire suppression system. The manufacturer moved for summary judgment based on the economic loss rule and relying on the 1993 Florida Supreme Court opinion in Casa Clara Condominium Assoc’n v. Charley Toppino & Sons, Inc., 620 So.2d 1244 (Fla. 1993), holding “the economic loss rule limited a defendant’s tort liability for allegedly defective products to injuries caused to persons or damage caused to property other than the defective product itself.” 2711 Hollywood Beach Conominium Assoc’n, supra. The trial court agreed with the manufacturer and granted summary judgment. On appeal, the Third District affirmed based on the economic loss rule:
    The Association bargained for, purchased and received a building; [the manufactuer’s] fittings were only a component of the FSS [fire suppression system], incorporated into the building. Applying the rule set forth in Casa Clara, the Association purchased a completed building from the developer. [The manufactuer’s] fittings were “an integral part of the finished product and, thus, did not injure ‘other’ property.” Injury to the building itself is not injury to “other” property because the product purchased by the Association was the building. See Casa Clara, 620 So. 2d at 1247. The economic loss rule therefore bars the Association’s recovery as to [the manufacturer] to the extent that it sought damages to replace the FSS [fire suppression system] and repair damage to the building.
    2711 Hollywood Beach Conominium Assoc’n, supra (internal citations omitted).
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at

    Force Majeure Under the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

    March 08, 2021 —
    As COVID-19 disrupts work and life as we know it, the question many contractors have is what protections are available against the inevitable project impacts and delays? Generally, construction contracts require a contractor to timely perform work until project completion or potentially face damages (liquidated or actual) and possible termination. When events occur, however, that are beyond our control (such as a national pandemic), it is important to review and understand what contract provisions or avenues are available for potential relief. 1. Review Your Contract For A Force Majeure Provision. A “force majeure” contract provision is commonly included in construction contracts, service agreements, purchase orders, etc. It typically covers events or conditions that can be neither anticipated nor controlled. These provisions, however, will vary greatly from contract to contract and may not include the language “force majeure” but rather may be included in general delay or impact clauses. For example, some common provisions include:
    • Washington State Department of Transportation Clause (2018 Standard Specifications for Road, Bridge and Municipal Construction): The Contractor shall rebuild, repair, restore, and make good all damages to any portion of the permanent or temporary Work occurring before the Physical Completion Date and shall bear all the expense to do so, except damage to the permanent Work caused by: (a) acts of God, such as earthquake, floods, or other cataclysmic phenomenon of nature, or (b) acts of the public enemy or of governmental authorities; or (c) slides in cases where Section 2-03.3(11) is applicable; Provided, however, that these exceptions shall not apply should damages result from the Contractor’s failure to take reasonable precautions or to exercise sound engineering and construction practices in conducting the Work.
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    Reprinted courtesy of Lindsay T. Watkins, Ahlers Cressman & Sleight PLLC
    Ms. Watkins may be contacted at

    Subcontract Should Flow Down Delay Caused by Subcontractors

    December 21, 2020 —
    A general contractor’s subcontract with its subcontractor should include a provision that entitles it to flow down liquidated damages assessed by the owner stemming from delays caused by the subcontractor. Such a provision does not mean the general contractor does not have to prove delays caused by the subcontractor or can arbitrarily allocate the amount or days it claims the subcontractor is liable. The general contractor still will need to reasonably establish the delays the subcontractor caused the critical path of the schedule, i.e., delayed the job. In addition to the right to flow down liquidated damages, the subcontract should also entitle the general contractor to recover its actual extended general conditions caused by the subcontractor’s delays (regardless of whether the owner assesses liquidated damages). The objective is that if the subcontractor delays the job, the subcontractor is liable for liquidated damages the general contractor is liable to the owner for in addition to the general contractor’s own delay damages. This is an important subcontractual provision so that the risk of delay caused by subcontractors is clearly flowed down to them in the subcontract. In a 1987 case, Hall Construction Co., Inc. v. Beynon, 507 So.2d 1225 (Fla. 5th DCA 1987), the subcontract at-issue contained language that stated, “The parties hereto agree that a supplier who delays performance beyond the time agreed upon in this Purchase Order shall have caused [general contractor] liquidated damages in the amount required of [general contractor] by their contract per day for each day such delay continues which sum the supplier hereby agrees to pay.” Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at

    Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Strikes a Deathblow to Substantial Factor Causation in Most Cases; Is Asbestos Litigation Next?

    March 22, 2021 —
    In Doull v. Foster, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) addressed the proper causation standard in a medical malpractice case. In reaching this issue, the SJC reached far beyond the medical malpractice case before it. The SJC concluded that the substantial factor test for causation, which had been regularly employed in the Commonwealth for decades, was “unnecessarily confusing.” In doing so, the SJC effectively ended the use of the substantial factor test in all negligence cases going forward, except in toxic tort litigation. However, the SJC openly questioned its usefulness in toxic tort litigation and all but welcomed a direct challenge to its use there. Reprinted courtesy of Christian J. Singewald, White and Williams LLP, Rochelle Gumapac, White and Williams LLP and Timothy J. Keough, White and Williams LLP Mr. Singewald may be contacted at Ms. Gumapac may be contacted at Mr. Keough may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Even Where Fraud and Contract Mix, Be Careful With Timing

    April 12, 2021 —
    I have often discussed the limited circumstances under which a construction contract claim and a fraud claim can coexist. A recent case from the Western District of Virginia federal court demonstrates that care is necessary even in those limited circumstances. In Fluor Fed. Sols., LLC v. Bae Sys. Ordinance Sys., the Court examined the question of a fraud statute of limitations under Virginia law. The basic facts found in the Complaint are these: In 2011, the United States Army awarded BAE Systems Ordinance Systems Inc. a basic ordering agreement under which BAE was responsible for modernization projects at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant. This action stems from a subcontract between Fluor Federal Solutions LLC and BAE, under which Fluor agreed to design and construct a new natural gas boiler at the plant. Fluor has completed work on the project, and BAE has accepted that work. Nonetheless, Fluor claims that BAE has refused or failed to pay for the balance of the project costs. Fluor alleges that BAE received several changes to its prime contract from the Army but did not pass those changes along to Fluor until after BAE solicited a bid from Fluor and entered a contract with Fluor to build a temporary facility. Instead, BAE continued to misrepresent the scope of the project. Fluor alleges that the change in plans increased costs substantially, but that BAE withheld information about those changes so that it could solicit lower bids. Fluor alleges that it requested a copy of BAE’s prime contract on numerous occasions, but BAE failed to provide a copy of it. Instead, Fluor submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act. It received a copy of BAE’s prime contract on Oct. 3, 2018. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at