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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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    Building Consultant News and Information
    For Port St. Lucie Florida

    Dave McLain named Barrister’s Best Construction Defects Lawyer for Defendants for 2019

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    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

    The Future of High-Rise is Localized and Responsive

    August 26, 2019 —
    By 2050, 70 percent of world’s population of almost 10 billion people will live in urban areas. The presenters at the High Rise – Northern Exposure seminar envisioned how high-rise construction will meet the requirements of urbanization, and what technologies have to offer to builders and users today. A line-up of high-rise specialists shared their insights with a keen audience in Otaniemi, Finland, on June 25, 2019. The conference was a co-operation between The Glass Performance Days (GPD) 2019, Aalto University, and the Glass Innovation Institute. Peter Smithson of BG&E Facades and Kimmo Lintula of Aalto University co-hosted the event. After welcoming words from Jorma Vitkala, the chairman of GDP, the first four presentations were by architects; one from the USA, two from Finland, and one from Australia. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Aarni Heiskanen, AEC Business
    Mr. Heiskanen may be contacted at

    Insurance Company’s Reservation of Rights Letter Negates its Interest in the Litigation

    November 12, 2019 —
    The Colorado Court of Appeals held that an insurance company, which issues a reservation of rights letter to its insured, loses its interest in the litigation, pursuant to C.R.C.P. 24(a)(2), when the insured settles the claims and assigns the bad faith action against the insurance company to the plaintiff. Bolt Factory Lofts Owners Association, Inc. v. Auto-Owners Insurance Company, 2019WL 3483901(Colo. App. 2019). In a 2016 lawsuit in Denver District Court, 2016CV3360, the Bolt Factory Loft Owners Association, Inc. (“Association”) asserted construction defect claims against six contractors. Two of those contractors then asserted claims against other subcontractors, including Sierra Glass Co., Inc. (“Sierra Glass”). After multiple settlements, the only remaining claims were those the Association, as assignee of the two contractors, asserted against Sierra Glass. Auto-Owners Insurance Company (“AOIC”) issued policies to Sierra Glass and defended it under a reservation of rights. The policy afforded AOIC the right to defend Sierra Glass, and it required Sierra Glass to cooperate in the defense of the legal action. The Association presented a settlement demand of $1.9 million to Sierra Glass, which AOIC refused to pay. To protect itself from an excess judgment that AOIC might not have paid, Sierra Glass entered into an agreement with the Association whereby Sierra Glass would refrain from offering a defense at trial and assign its bad faith claim against AOIC to the Association in exchange for the Association’s promise that it would not pursue recovery against Sierra Glass of any judgment entered against it at trial. Such agreements, known as Bashor or Nunn Agreements, are allowed in Colorado. Nunn v. Mid-Century Insurance Co., 244 P.3d 116 (Colo. 2010). Therefore, Sierra Glass was entitled to protect itself in the face of AOIC’s potential denial of coverage and refusal to settle. Bolt Factory Lofts, at ¶ 15. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Frank Ingham, Higgins, Hopkins, McLain & Roswell, LLC
    Mr. Ingham may be contacted at

    California Trial Court Clarifies Application of SB800 Roofing Standards and Expert’s Opinions

    February 18, 2020 —
    Collinsworth, Specht, Calkins & Giampaoli partners Scott Calkins and Anthony Gaeta obtained a trial victory when the jury returned a 12-0 defense verdict against one plaintiff homeowner, and awarded the other homeowner less than $2,000, an amount well below the defendant’s pre-trial CCP 998 Offers to Compromise. One of the main issues in the case was the application of SB800 roofing standards. Plaintiffs’ roofing expert testified in deposition no water entered the structure or passed through a moisture barrier [Civ. Code §896(a)(4)], and no materials had fallen off the roof [§896(g)(11)]. In an attempt to circumvent the applicable performance standards, Plaintiffs argued Civ. Code §869(g)(3)(A), also known as the ‘useful life’ exception, applied because the various components of the roof (nailing pattern, tiles, vents, etc.) were installed in such a manner so as to reduce the useful life of the roof. Following pre-trial motions and objections made during Plaintiffs’ direct examination, the Court ruled Section 896(g)(3)(A) did not apply to a conventional roof, as it is not a “manufactured product” as defined in §896(g)(3)(C). Plaintiffs’ roofing claims were summarily dismissed and Plaintiffs’ expert was prevented from testifying. In contrast, the defense expert, Mark Chapman, was allowed to testify regarding his expert opinions as to the appropriate SB800 standard relative to each alleged defect and whether the standards were violated. The SB800 performance standards were included on the jury verdict form, and the jury found Mr. Chapman’s testimony compelling, which was a substantial factor in awarding only minor damages to one Plaintiff. For more information, contact Scott Calkins (, Anthony Gaeta ( or Mark Chapman ( Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Connecticut Supreme Court Further Refines Meaning of "Collapse"

    January 13, 2020 —
    Connecticut courts have been inundated with collapse cases the past couple of years due to insureds' living in homes that were constructed with defective concrete manufactured by J.J. Mottes Concrete Company. In a duo of cases, the Connecticut Supreme Court responded to a certified question from the U.S. District Court, holding that collapse required that the building be in imminent danger of falling down. Vera v. Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 2019 Conn. LEXIS 339 (Conn. Nov. 12, 2019). Plaintiffs had resided in their home since 2009. The home was built in 1993. In August 2015, after learning about the problem of crumbling basement walls affecting homes in their community due to cement manufactured by Mottes, they retained a structural engineer to evaluate their basement walls. The engineer found spider web cracking approximately 1/16 of an inch wide in the basement walls and three small vertical cracks. There were no visible signs of bowing. The engineer did not find that the walls were in imminent danger of falling down, but recommended that the basement walls be replaced. Plaintiffs submitted a claim under their homeowners policy to Liberty Mutual. The claim was denied. The policy did not define collapse, but stated that collapse did not include "settling, cracking, shrinking, bulging or expansion." Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at

    EPA and the Corps of Engineers Repeal the 2015 “Waters of the United States” Rule

    January 13, 2020 —
    The pre-publication version of the final rule to be promulgated by EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) to repeal the 2015 redefinition of the Clean Water Act’s term “Waters of the United States” which is the linchpin of these agencies’ regulatory power under the CWA, was made available on September 12, 2019. The rule should be published in the Federal Register in the next few weeks, and it will be effective 60 days thereafter. Many challenges are expected to be filed in the federal courts. The 2015 rule was very controversial, and petitions challenging the rule were filed in many federal district courts, several courts of appeal, and finally in the Supreme Court (see NAM v. Department of Defense), which held that all initial challenges must be filed in the federal district courts. The upshot of these challenges is that, at this time, the 2015 rule has been enjoined in more than half the states while the other states are bound by the 2015 rule, a situation which is frustrating for everyone. In addition to repealing the 2015 rule, the agencies also restored the pre-2015 definition had had been in place since 1986. As a result, the pre-2015 definition of waters of the U.S. will again govern the application of the following rules: (a) the ACOE’s definition of “waters of the U.S.” at 33 CFR Section 328.3; (b) EPA’s general Oil Discharge rule at 40 CFR Section 110; (c) the SPCC rules at 40 CFR Part 112; (d) EPA’s designation of hazardous substances at 40 CFR Part 116; (e) EPA’s hazardous substance reportable quantity rule at 40 CFR Part 117; (f) the NPDES permitting rules at 40 CFR Part 122; (g) the guidelines for dredged or fill disposal sites at 40 CFR Part 230; (g) Exempt activities not requiring a CWA 404 permit (guidelines for 404 disposal sites at 40 CFR Part 232); (h) the National Contingency Plan rules at 40 CFR Part 300; (i) the designation of reportable quantities of hazardous substances at 40 CFR Part 302; and (j) EPA’s Effluent Guidelines standards at 40 CFR Part 401. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Anthony B. Cavender, Pillsbury
    Mr. Cavender may be contacted at

    Will The New U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Deal Calm Industry Jitters?

    January 13, 2020 —
    News that House Democrats and the Trump administration have come to an agreement on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) provided a bit of calm in the storm over trade policies that have roiled the construction market since 2017. Bruce Buckley, Engineering News-Record ENR may be contacted at Read the full story... Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Georgia Supreme Court Addresses Anti-Indemnity Statute

    October 21, 2019 —
    In prior blog posts, we addressed Georgia’s anti-indemnity statute. One of the posts addressed the statute in the context of an electric utility easement near an airport. That case made its way to the Supreme Court Georgia, which provided some additional clarity to the statute. Milliken & Co. v. Georgia Power Co., — Ga. –, 829 S.E.2d 111 (2019). When a plane crashed and several passengers and crew died or were injured, their representatives sued several defendants, including a nearby plant owner, Milliken & Company (“Milliken”), based on claims that transmission lines on Milliken’s property were too close to the runways, were too high, and encroached on the airport easements. Milliken cross claimed against Georgia Power Company (“GPC”). Milliken’s claim was based on an easement it granted to GPC, which required GPC to indemnify it for any claims arising out of GPC’s construction or maintenance of the transmission lines. On appeal, the Supreme Court considered whether the clause was unenforceable under O.C.G.A. § 13-8-2(b). In general, “a party may contract away liability to the other party for the consequences of his own negligence without contravening public policy, except when such agreement it prohibited by statute.” Id. at 113 citing Lanier at McEver v. Planners & Eng’rs Collaborative, 284 Ga. 204, 205 (2008). As one such statute, O.C.G.A. § 13-8-2(b) applies when an indemnification provision (i) “relates in some way to a contract for construction, alteration, repair, or maintenance of certain property” and (ii) “promises to indemnify a party for damages arising from that own party’s sole negligence.” Id. at 114 (internal punctuation omitted). Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David R. Cook, Autry, Hall & Cook, LLP
    Mr. Cook may be contacted at

    Trial Victory in San Mateo County!

    February 24, 2020 —
    Wilke Fleury attorneys Adriana Cervantes and Matt Powell recently prevailed at trial in a case involving a real property dispute in San Mateo County. Wilke Fleury represented the owner of an apartment building in an action against an individual who recently acquired the duplex on the adjoining property. As set forth in the pleadings, the Apartment’s owner, tenants, and invitees, used the property in many ways including access, parking, and recreational purposes for over five years, and the new owner had actual notice of that use before the purchase. Nonetheless, the new owner insisted the Apartment had no right to use the property, and filed an action to quiet title. Wilke Fleury filed a cross-complaint on behalf of the Apartment alleging that it had a prescriptive easement over the property. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Wilke Fleury