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    FAIRFIELD CONNECTICUT BUILDING CONSULTANT
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    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. Leveraging 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.

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    Fairfield, Connecticut

    First-Party Statutory Bad Faith – 60 Days to Cure Means 60 Days to Cure

    October 19, 2020 —
    In a first party bad-faith lawsuit, such as a bad faith claim against an insured’s property insurer, there are three requirements that must be met before the bad faith lawsuit is filed: “‘(1) determination of the insurer’s liability for coverage; (2) determination of the extent of the insured’s damages; and (3) the required notice must be filed under section 624.155(3)(a).’” Fortune v. First Protective Ins. Co., 45 Fla. L. Weekly D2092a (Fla. 2d DCA 2020) (citation omitted). The third requirement is for the insured to file a Civil Remedy Notice (known as a “CRN”) as a condition precedent to filing a statutory bad faith lawsuit giving the insurer 60 days’ notice of the bad faith violation and to cure the violation, i.e., pay the claim if the violation is payment. A very common bad faith payment violation is the assertion that the insurer did NOT attempt “in good faith to settle claims when, under the circumstances, it could and should have done so, had it acted fairly and honestly towards its insured and with due regard for his or her interests.” Fla. Stat. s. 624.155(1)(b)(1). Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at dma@kirwinnorris.com

    Court Holds That One-Year SOL Applies to Disgorgement Claims Under B&P Section 7031

    November 23, 2020 —
    We’ve talked before about Business and Professions Code section 7031 which courts have referred to as “harsh[ ],” “unjust[ ]” and even “draconian.” Under Section 7031, a contractor performing work requiring a contractor’s license, but who doesn’t: (1) is prohibited from suing to recover payment for work performed; and (2) is required to disgorge all money paid by the project owner for work performed. This is true even if the project owner knew that the contractor was unlicensed, the contractor was only unlicensed during part of the time it performed work requiring a license, and even if the work performed by the contractor was free of defects. In short, it’s the nuclear bomb of remedies against a contractor. However, until now, no court has addressed when a project owner is permitted to raise a Business and Professions Code section 7031 claim against a contractor. In the next case, Eisenberg Village of the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging v. Suffolk Construction Company, Inc., Case No B297247 (August 26, 2020), the 2nd District Court Appeal finally answers this question. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Garret Murai, Nomos LLP
    Mr. Murai may be contacted at gmurai@nomosllp.com

    Louis "Dutch" Schotemeyer Returns to Newmeyer Dillion as Partner in Newport Beach Office

    September 14, 2020 —
    Prominent business and real estate law firm Newmeyer Dillion is pleased to announce that Louis “Dutch” Schotemeyer has rejoined the firm as a partner in the Newport Beach office. Schotemeyer will expand the firm’s Real Estate Litigation, Construction Litigation, Business Litigation and Labor & Employment practices and strengthen the firm’s legal offerings for companies operating without a dedicated in-house legal counsel. “We are thrilled to be welcoming Dutch back to Newmeyer Dillion. He brings a wealth of litigation experience and has served as a trusted advisor to companies facing myriad complex legal disputes,” said the firm’s Managing Partner, Paul Tetzloff. “His experience as in-house counsel will greatly complement Newmeyer Dillion’s business-first mindset when it comes to providing legal counsel to our clients. He is an invaluable asset to the team.” Prior to rejoining Newmeyer Dillion, Schotemeyer was Vice President and Associate General Counsel for William Lyon Homes, Inc. and Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Taylor Morrison. His experience as a corporate attorney has strengthened his ability to work with in-house counsel and serve as a relationship attorney that assists clients in managing legal needs by building the right team of legal specialists. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Louis "Dutch" Schotemeyer, Newmeyer Dillion
    Mr. Schotemeyer may be contacted at dutch.schotemeyer@ndlf.com

    A Landlord’s Guide to the Center for Disease Control’s Eviction Moratorium

    October 05, 2020 —
    The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”) and the Department of Health and Human Services (the “HHS”) has issued an order to temporarily halt a landlord’s right to evict certain residential tenants to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 (the “CDC Order”). The CDC Order is effective through December 31, 2020. Applicability of the CDC Order. The CDC Order does not apply in jurisdictions that have a moratorium on residential evictions in effect that provides the same or greater level of protection than the CDC Order, and the CDC Order permits local jurisdictions to continue to pass more restrictive eviction moratoriums. To invoke the protection provided by the CDC Order, a landlord’s tenants must deliver an executed declaration (a “CDC Declaration”) form to the landlord that includes the following statements: (i) the tenant has used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing; (ii) expects to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income in 2020 (or $198,000 if filing joint tax returns), was not required to report income in 2019, or received an Economic Impact Payment under the CARES Act; (iii) the tenant is unable to pay the full rent due to substantial loss of household income, loss of work or wages, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses; (iv) the tenant is using best efforts to make partial payments that are as close to the full rental payments as the tenant’s circumstances permit; and (v) the eviction would likely render the individual homeless or force the individual to move into and live in close quarters or shared living space. Effect of the CDC Order The CDC Order prevents landlords from evicting tenants for the non-payment of rent or similar housing-related payments that have sent their landlord a CDC Declaration. The CDC Order does not relieve tenants of the obligation to pay rent or other charges owed under their leases and does not preclude a landlord from charging late fees, penalties, or interest for missed payments. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Colton Addy, Snell & Wilmer
    Mr. Addy may be contacted at caddy@swlaw.com

    History and Gentrification Clash in a Gilded Age Resort

    October 05, 2020 —
    Newport, Rhode Island, is a small New England beachfront town with a permanent population of 26,000 and an amazing collection of historic homes. Billed as “America’s First Resort,” the 350-year-old city on Aquidneck Island hosts more than 3 million tourists every year. They come for the boating, the famous folk and jazz festivals (both canceled this summer), and the architecture. The narrow streets of the Point along the waterfront are lined with hundreds of modest homes from the early 1700s, one of the largest ensembles of colonial architecture in the country. On Historic Hill sits an assortment of grander antebellum, classical and Gothic Revival structures from the latter part of the 18th and early to mid-19th century, many built by Southern plantation owners. Newport also boasts what is probably the most opulent thoroughfare in the country, a several-mile stretch of Bellevue Avenue lined with shade trees and palatial limestone mansions built by Gilded Age robber barons and industrialists. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Alex Ulam, Bloomberg

    Top 10 Insurance Cases of 2020

    January 11, 2021 —
    COVID-19 business interruption coverage litigation may have stolen the show in 2020, but those cases should not eclipse other important insurance coverage cases decided throughout this past year. As the courts nationwide struggled with the insurance coverage implications of COVID-19 related business loss, other significant coverage decisions were overshadowed. Read on to learn about how computer glitches, biometric privacy, and a falling wheelbarrow have all played a role in\ shaping some of the most interesting and influential insurance coverage decisions of 2020, as well as get a sneak peek at the key coverage decisions looming in 2021. Enjoy! 1. Nash Street, LLC v. Main Street America Assurance Company, No. 20389, 2020 WL 5415325 (Conn. 2020) Do exclusions k(5) and k(6) absolve an insurer of its duty to defend its insured for allegations of faulty workmanship? Reprinted courtesy of Grace V. Hebbel, Saxe Doernberger & Vita P.C., Andrew G. Heckler, Saxe Doernberger & Vita P.C. and Jeffrey J. Vita, Saxe Doernberger & Vita P.C. Ms. Hebbel may be contacted at GHebbel@sdvlaw.com Mr. Heckler may be contacted at AHeckler@sdvlaw.com Mr. Vita may be contacted at JVita@sdvlaw.com Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    First Circuit Rules Excess Insurer Must Provide Coverage for Fuel Spill

    January 18, 2021 —
    The First Circuit recently held that a “Special Hazard and Fluids Limitation Endorsement” was ambiguous and therefore there was excess coverage for a fuel spill that occurred after a tanker-truck overturned. In Performance Trans. Inc. v. General Star Indem. Co., the First Circuit reversed the District Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of General Star Indemnity Company. The District Court held that the excess policy General Star issued to Performance Trans. Inc. precluded coverage for a spill that resulted in the leaking of thousands of gallons of fuel. The District Court relied on the existence of a total pollution exclusion to bar coverage and held that the policy’s Special Hazards and Fluids Limitation Endorsement could not create an ambiguity that would afford coverage. Reprinted courtesy of Syed S. Ahmad, Hunton Andrews Kurth and Adriana A. Perez, Hunton Andrews Kurth Mr. Ahmad may be contacted at sahmad@HuntonAK.com Ms. Perez may be contacted at pereza@HuntonAK.com Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams. Unlicensed Contractor Takes the Cake

    August 31, 2020 —
    Before the Kardashians, before Empire, before Crazy Rich Asians there was Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous with Robin Leach. The next case, Moore v. Teed, Case No. A153523 (April 24, 2020), 1st District Court of Appeals, is about the unfulfilled wishes and dashed dreams of the $13 million dollar “fixer upper.” Moore v. Teed The $13 Million Dollar “Fixer Upper” Justin Moore just wanted to buy a house in San Francisco. But he couldn’t afford one in the neighborhoods he preferred. But in 2011, luck struck, when Moore met Richard Teed, a real estate agent with “over 25 years of experience as a building contractor,” “an extensive background in historic restorations” and a “deep understanding of quality construction.” Teed told Moore that he could locate a “lower-priced fixer-upper in a choice neighborhood and then renovate it.” Moore was sold. Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Garret Murai, Nomos LLP
    Mr. Murai may be contacted at gmurai@nomosllp.com