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

    Port St Lucie Florida Building Consultant 10/ 10

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

    Port St Lucie Florida Building Consultant 10/ 10

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

    Port St Lucie Florida Building Consultant 10/ 10

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

    Port St Lucie Florida Building Consultant 10/ 10

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    Local # 1000
    PO Box 1259
    Tallahassee, FL 32302

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    Local # 1007
    PO Box 7353
    Lake City, FL 32055

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    Local # 1024
    103 Century 21 Dr Ste 100
    Jacksonville, FL 32216

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    Building Consultant News and Information
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    PORT ST LUCIE FLORIDA BUILDING CONSULTANT
    DIRECTORY AND CAPABILITIES

    Leveraging from more than 5500 construction defect and claims related expert witness designations, the Port St Lucie, Florida Building Consultant Group provides a wide range of trial support and consulting services to Port St Lucie's most acknowledged construction practice groups, CGL carriers, builders, owners, and public agencies. Drawing from a diverse pool of construction and design professionals, BHA is able to simultaneously analyze complex claims from the perspective of design, engineering, cost, or standard of care.

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    Port St Lucie, Florida

    California Subcontractor Gets a Kick in the Rear (or Perhaps the Front) for Prematurely Recorded Mechanics Lien

    October 21, 2019 —
    California provides three statutorily recognized construction payment remedies: (1) mechanics liens; (2) stop payment notices; and (3) payment bond claims. Each is intended to provide payment protections for those who furnish labor, materials and services on a construction project. However, each is also different in important ways. One of those differences has to do with timing. Specifically, when the statutory payment remedy may be used by a claimant. Stop payment notices can be served at any time during a project even before a claimant has completed its work. However, mechanics liens may only be recorded and payment bond claims may only be made after a claimant has completed or ceased performing its work. In Precision Framing Systems, Inc. v. Luzuriaga, Case No. E069158 (August 29, 2019), the 4th District Court of Appeal examined whether a subcontractor had prematurely recorded a mechanics lien and, thereby, was prevented from filing a lawsuit to foreclose on its mechanics lien. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Garret Murai, Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP
    Mr. Murai may be contacted at gmurai@wendel.com

    Guessing as to your Construction Damages is Not the Best Approach

    November 18, 2019 —
    Arbitrarily guessing as to your construction damages is NOT the best approach. Sure, experts can be costly. No doubt about it. Having an expert versus guessing as to your construction damages caused by another party’s breach of contract is a no brainer. Engage an expert or, at a minimum, be in a position to competently testify as to your damages caused by another party’s breach of contract. Otherwise, the guessing is not going to get you very far as a concrete subcontractor found out in Patrick Concrete Constructors, Inc. v. Layne Christensen Co., 2018 WL 6528485 (W.D. New York 2018) where the subcontractor could not competently support its delay-related damages or change orders and, equally important, could not support that the damages were proximately caused by the general contractor’s breach of the subcontract. In this case, the concrete subcontractor entered into a subcontract to perform concrete work for a public project. The project was delayed and the general contractor was required to pay liquidated damages to the owner. Not surprisingly, the subcontractor disputed liability for delays and sued the general contractor for all of its delay-related damages “in the form of labor and materials escalation, loss of productivity, procurement and impact costs, field and home office overhead, idle equipment, inability to take on other work, lost profits, and interest.” Patrick Concrete Constructors, 2018 WL at *1. The general contractor moved for summary judgment as to the plaintiff’s delay-related damages – the subcontractor’s damages were nothing but guesses and the subcontractor could not prove the general contractor was the cause of the subcontractor’s damages. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at dma@kirwinnorris.com

    Get Your Contracts Lean- Its Better than Dieting

    January 13, 2020 —
    I recently took the AGC Lean Construction Educations Program Units 1-7. After studying diligently, I’m happy to say that I passed the exam and earned my CM-Lean credential. Surprisingly, this makes me the first attorney to earn this distinction out of over 1,200 CM-Lean holders. So why is a construction attorney learning about lean? After all, this was my first exam in 20 years since I took the bar. Well, according to McKinsey Global Institute, construction actually became less productive from 1995 through 2009. When it comes to efficiency, construction still lags significantly behind the manufacturing sector and the overall economy. Construction contracts – what we sign and the way in which we negotiate them, or lack thereof – is a principal reason why construction productivity is stagnant. Contracting under an integrated lean project delivery method (ILPD) and incorporating Lean construction tools is the most powerful means to increase efficiency and add-value to owners. Owners are the client’s end-users of construction projects. ConsensusDocs has taken a leadership role in publishing the first standard ILPD contract which is an integrated form of agreement (IFOA). The ConsensusDocs 300 Integrated Project Delivery (IPD™) provides an off-the-shelf solution to contract utilizing lean tools. Not every owner can or is comfortable using an IPD approach. Consequently, ConsensusDocs produced the ConsensusDocs 305 Construction Lean Construction Addendum last year to provide an option for contracting for lean on Construction Management at-Risk and design-build projects. Some people call this approach IPD-lite or IPD’ish. Some disfavor such terms, because those terms have been used loosely on projects that aren’t very Lean. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Brian Perlberg, Esq., Executive Director and Senior Counsel of ConsensusDocs
    ConsensusDocs may be contacted at support@consensusdocs.org

    Standard of Care

    December 16, 2019 —
    One of the key concepts at the heart of Board complaints and civil claims against a design professional is whether or not that design professional complied with the applicable standard of care. In order to prevail on such a claim, the claimant must establish (typically with the aid of expert testimony) that the design professional deviated from the standard of care. On the other side of the coin, to defend a design professional against a professional malpractice claim, defense counsel attempts to establish that – contrary to the claimant’s allegations – the design professional, in fact, complied with the standard of care. Obviously, it becomes very important in such a claim situation to determine what the standard of care is that applies to the conduct of the defendant design professional. Often, this is easier said than done. There is no dictionary definition or handy guidebook that identifies the precise standard of care that applies in any given situation. The “standard of care” is a concept and, as such, is flexible and open to interpretation. Traditionally, the standard of care is expressed as being that level of service or competence generally employed by average or prudent practitioners under the same or similar circumstances at the same time and in the same locale. In other words, to meet the standard of care a design professional must generally follow the pack; he or she need not be perfect, exemplary, outstanding, or even superior – it is sufficient merely for the designer to do that which a reasonably prudent practitioner would do under similar circumstances. The negative or reverse definition also applies, to meet the standard of care, a practitioner must refrain from doing what a reasonably prudent practitioner would have refrained from doing. Although we have this ready definition of the standard of care, in any given dispute it is practically inevitable that the parties will have markedly different opinions as to: (1) what the standard of care required of the designer; and (2) whether the defendant design professional complied with that requirement. The claimant bringing a claim against a design professional typically will be able to find an expert reasonably qualified (at least on paper) who will offer an opinion that the defendant failed to comply with the standard of care. It is just as likely that the counsel for the defendant design professional will be able to find his or her own expert who will counter the opinion of the claimant’s expert and maintain that the defendant design professional, in fact, complied with the standard of care. What’s a jury to think? The concept of standard of care is intertwined with the legal concept of negligence. In the vast majority of law suits against design professionals, a claimant (known as the plaintiff) will assert a claim for negligence against the design professional now known as the defendant.1 As every first year law student learns while studying the field of “Torts,” negligence has four subparts. In order for a defendant to be found negligent, the claimant must establish four elements: (1) duty; (2) breach; (3) causation; and (4) damages. In other words, to establish a claim against a defendant design professional, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care but breached that duty and, as a result, caused the plaintiff to suffer damages. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Jay Gregory, Gordon & Rees Scully Mansukhani
    Mr. Gregory may be contacted at jgregory@grsm.com

    Techniques for Resolving Construction Disputes

    September 16, 2019 —
    With most construction projects involving dozens, if not hundreds, of companies and individuals, it is no surprise that conflicts arise that are not always able to be resolved on the jobsite. But these conflicts need not always reach the court room or cost thousands (or much more) to resolve. With some planning, contractors can build faster and less expensive dispute resolution options into their project so they can spend more time keeping the project moving and less time arguing over who is right. Even for modest-sized projects, a multi-tiered approached to dispute resolution can be helpful. As a first level of dispute resolution, consider requiring the relevant parties to attend informal or formal mediation. The benefits of even an informal mediation is that it can get stalemated parties to the table to talk again. Formal mediation adds the benefit of a neutral third-party who can help get talks moving or help antagonistic parties communicate. Further, mediation allows each side an opportunity to hear what the other side is looking for to resolve the dispute. Not only is this valuable in reaching a compromise, but it also gives each side an idea of what the other will bring to the table in any subsequent litigation. Finally, there are many ways to implement these procedures. General contractors can require pre-suit mediation with their subcontractors to resolve one-on-one disputes but should also consider requiring subcontractors to use pre-suit mediation to resolve disputes between subcontractors or between subcontractors and sub-subcontractors or material suppliers if the dispute threatens the progress at the project. Reprinted courtesy of Jason Lambert, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved. Read the court decision
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    Customer’s Agreement to Self-Insure and Release for Water Damage Effectively Precludes Liability of Storage Container Company

    December 16, 2019 —
    In Kanovsky v. At Your Door Self Storage (No. B297338; filed 11/25/19), a California appeals court held that a waiver of liability and agreement to self-insure in a storage container contract barred coverage for water damage to goods stored in the container. In Kanovsky, plaintiffs contracted for portable storage containers when moving. They loaded their washing machine into one of the containers without checking whether it was fully drained. They locked the containers and reopened them four years later to discover water damage to the contents. They sued the storage company, alleging causes of action for breach of contract; tortious breach of covenant; negligence; and violation of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Civil Code section 1750. The storage company’s insurer intervened and moved for summary judgment, which was granted. The appeals court affirmed. The storage company’s contract contained a release of liability stating that personal property was stored “at the customer’s sole risk” and the owners “shall not be liable for any damage or loss,” including water damage. Further, the contract stated that the containers were not waterproof, and again that the storage company was not liable for water damage. The contract attached an addendum further stating that the owner was “a landlord renting space, is not a warehouseman, and does not take custody of my property.” The addendum went on with an acknowledgement that the owner: “2. Is not responsible for loss or damage to my property; 3. Does not provide insurance on my property for me; and 4. Requires that I provide my own insurance coverage or be ‘Self-Insured’ (personally assume risk of loss or damage).” Reprinted courtesy of Christopher Kendrick, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP and Valerie A. Moore, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP Mr. Kendrick may be contacted at ckendrick@hbblaw.com Ms. Moore may be contacted at vmoore@hbblaw.com Read the court decision
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    Amendments to California Insurance Code to Require Enhanced Claims Handling Requirements for Claims Arising Out Of Catastrophic Events

    September 04, 2019 —
    Senator Bill Dodd, who represents Napa County and surrounding areas in the California Senate, has recently introduced Senate Bill 240, known colloquially as The Insurance Adjuster Act of 2019. S.B. 240 would amend the California Insurance Code to streamline and organize claim processing, particularly during a state of emergency / catastrophic events. The proposal is in response to a series of devastating wildfires which ravaged the Sonoma County and Napa Valley wine country during the 2017 fire season (Atlas, Tubbs, and Nun fires). Many of Senator Dodd’s constituents reported difficulty in navigating the claim process due to multiple claim professionals handling a single claim, many of whom were outside of California, and many of whose capabilities were challenged. S.B. 240 would direct the Department of Insurance to issue annual notices setting forth legal developments as they relate to property insurance policies, including best practices for evaluating damage caused by an emergency, and requires out-of-state claims professionals to certify, under penalty of perjury, that they have read these notices along with claim adjusting literature also prepared by the Department of Insurance. S.B. 240 would also require insurers to designate a primary point of contact for their customers during a state of emergency until the claim is closed or litigation is initiated. While the proposed legislation would not prohibit multiple claims professionals handling a single claim, it would provide for training standards issued by the Department of Insurance on how best to handle claims in a state of emergency. Further, S.B. 240 would require claims professionals who are not licensed in California (1) to be supervised by a licensed California claims professional, and (2) to read and understand the annual emergency claim adjusting literature issued by the Department of Insurance within 15 calendar days of beginning adjusting of claims in California. The bill passed the Senate by unanimous vote and is pending in the Assembly. The bill is also supported by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. Accordingly, the bill is expected to pass the Legislature. Once enacted, S.B. 240 would significantly elevate claim adjusting requirements related to emergencies, such as natural disasters, by placing greater oversight in the Department of Insurance, and greater responsibility on claims professional within and outside of California. How pragmatic these requirements are and what practical impact they will have on the industry are developments which we will follow and provide further commentary as this bill makes its way through the California legislature and into the California Insurance Code. Reprinted courtesy of Jon A.Turigliatto, Chapman Glucksman Dean Roeb & Barger and Ravi R. Mehta, Chapman Glucksman Dean Roeb & Barger Mr. A.Turigliatto may be contacted at jturigliatto@cgdrblaw.com Mr. Mehta may be contacted at rmehta@cgdrblaw.com Read the court decision
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    Waiver of Subrogation Enforced, Denying Insurers Recovery Against Additional Insured in $500 Million Off-Shore Oil Rig Loss

    September 30, 2019 —
    The United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas recently rejected a claim by a group of insurance companies (“Underwriters”) against American Global Maritime Inc. for more than $500 million that the Underwriters paid the named insured under an Off-Shore Construction Risk insurance policy for losses resulting from the an alleged off-shore oil rig failure. The action arose out of alleged construction defects related to Chevron’s “Big Foot” oil-drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Chevron hired American Global to be the marine warranty surveyor responsible for reviewing and certifying the project’s specifications and materials. American Global issued the certificate of approval required for the project to proceed; however, during the attempted installation of the platform in 2015, it was alleged that parts from the structure fell to the sea floor. The Underwriters paid more than $500 million in connection with the incident under an Off-Shore Construction insurance policy they had issued to Chevron. After paying the claim, the Underwriters filed a negligence action against American Global and other contractors involved in the project. Reprinted courtesy of Sergio F. Oehninger, Hunton Andrews & Kurth and Daniel Hentschel , Hunton Andrews & Kurth Mr. Oehninger may be contacted at soehninger@HuntonAK.com Mr. Hentschel may be contacted at dhentschel@HuntonAK.com Read the court decision
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