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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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    Polk County Builders Association
    Local # 1028
    2232 Heritage Dr
    Lakeland, FL 33801

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    Local # 1036
    11242 Winthrop Main St
    Riverview, FL 33578

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    Local # 1012
    1500 W Eau Gallie Blvd Ste A
    Melbourne, FL 32935

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    Local # 1022
    PO Box 7546
    Sebring, FL 33872
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    Local # 1041
    8131 Lakewood Main St Ste 207
    Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202

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    Local # 1010
    7391 Sunshine Grove Rd
    Brooksville, FL 34613

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    Port Saint Lucie, FL 34952

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    Building Consultant News and Information
    For Tampa Florida

    Constructing a New American Dream

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    The Tampa, Florida Building Consultant Group at BHA, leverages from the experience gained through more than 5,500 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 Tampa'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
    Tampa, Florida

    World Green Building Council Calls for Net-Zero Embodied Carbon in Buildings by 2050

    November 18, 2019 —
    The World Green Building Council’s latest maneuver in its war against greenhouse gas emissions is a rallying cry for embodied-carbon reduction in buildings that involves global collaboration, communication, education, innovation and regulation. WGBC’s ambitious aim is to get to net-zero EC in all new construction and renovations by 2050. Reprinted courtesy of Nadine M. Post, Engineering News-Record Ms. Post may be contacted at Read the full story... Read the court decision
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    TLSS Partner Burks Smith and Associate Katie Keller Win Summary Judgment on Late Reported Water Seepage Case in South Florida

    November 18, 2019 —
    On July 9, 2019, Traub Lieberman Straus & Shrewsberry LLP Partner, Burks A. Smith, III and Associate, Kathryn A. Keller, secured Summary Judgment on behalf of a major homeowners’ insurer in a breach of contract action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. See Lehrfield v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company, 2019 WL2994270 (S.D. Fla. 2019). The underlying claim involved a water loss at the Plaintiffs’ residence allegedly resulting in $91,147.32 worth of damage to their home. The claim was reported eight (8) months after the alleged date of loss, and during the inspection, the adjuster observed rot, decay, mold, and warping wood, prompting the carrier to deny the claim based on the Seepage Endorsement. The Plaintiffs filed a breach of contract action alleging that the insurer breached the Policy by denying the claim. Mr. Smith and Ms. Keller argued that Plaintiffs’ Policy with the insurer imposes a duty on the Plaintiffs to comply with the Duties After Loss conditions of the Policy, including the requirement to provide prompt notice of the loss and show the damaged property. As mentioned above, the Plaintiffs provided notice of the claim eight (8) months late, and performed various repairs prior to notifying the insurer of the claim. After the close of discovery, Mr. Smith and Ms. Keller filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on behalf of the insurer based on the late reporting, and further argued that the Plaintiffs had the burden of proving direct physical loss to property within the first 13 days of the loss, given the recent decision of Hicks v. American Integrity Insurance Company of Florida, 241 So.3d 925 (Fla. 3d DCA 1018). In Florida, when an insured fails to comply with their Duties After Loss, a presumption of prejudice to the insurer arises. Bankers Ins. Co. v. Macias, 475 So. 2d 1216, 1218 (Fla. 1985)). In order to recover, the Plaintiffs bear the burden of overcoming the presumption, and must prove that no prejudice existed. Id. Mr. Smith and Ms. Keller’s comprehensive arguments successfully proved to the Court that the Plaintiffs’ failure to timely report the claim prejudiced the insurer by prohibiting the insurer from being able to independently validate the loss, or distinguish between multiple causes of loss. Mr. Smith and Ms. Keller further argued that Plaintiffs did not meet their burden to prove that the insurer was not prejudiced by the Plaintiffs’ failure to comply with the Duties After Loss provision of the Policy. The Motion cited numerous cases and extensive analysis supporting the insurer’s position. Reprinted courtesy of Burks A. Smith, III, Traub Lieberman and Kathryn Keller, Traub Lieberman Mr. Smith, may be contacted at Ms. Keller may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Construction Continues To Boom Across The South

    September 09, 2019 —
    Contractors reported revenue growth of $2 billion in 2018 and are optimistic heading into the second half of 2019. The looming threat of a downturn, though, weighs heavy on some industry leaders’ minds as does the constant threat of workforce shortages. Reprinted courtesy of Louise Poirier, Engineering News-Record Ms. Poirier may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Haight Welcomes New Attorneys to Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco

    October 07, 2019 —
    Haight Brown & Bonesteel is happy to announce the addition of new attorneys to our Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco offices.
    • Alexandra Angel – Los Angeles: Alexandra is a member of the firm’s Business Solutions, General Liability and Transportation Law Practice Groups. Her practice focuses on a variety of civil litigation matters involving premises liability, personal injury, judgment collection, breach of contract, and landlord-tenant. Her clients have included individual private clients, international property management companies, national and local real estate investment companies, a large car finance company, and local businesses.
    • Josh Maltzer – San Francisco: Josh is a partner in the firm’s Construction Law, General Liability and Risk Management & Insurance Law Practice Groups. He is a seasoned civil litigator who focuses his practice on construction defect, general liability and insurance coverage. Josh is an experienced trial attorney who has litigated matters in state and federal courts throughout California and in Arizona, Washington and Wyoming. He has represented business owners, property managers, developers, real estate purchasers and public housing agencies in matters that resulted in millions of dollars in insurance recovers, judgments and settlements for his client.
    Reprinted courtesy of Haight Brown & Bonesteel attorneys Alexandra Angel, Josh A. Maltzer, Philip E. McDermott, Patrick F. McIntyre, Evan M. Reese, and Amanda F. Riley Ms. Angel may be contacted at Mr. Maltzer may be contacted at Mr. McDermott may be contacted at Mr. McIntyre may be contacted at Mr. Reese may be contacted at Ms. Riley may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    What is a Personal Injury?

    September 03, 2019 —
    Essentially, a personal injury is when an individual is hurt during an accident. Whether driving on the road, walking down the street, or sitting in a chair, accidents happen. When there is an accident, medical treatment may be necessary. Individuals who sustain injuries usually seek compensation for their medical treatment and pain and suffering in the form of a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury lawsuits can result from a variety of claims including negligence, strict liability, or intentional torts. Yet, for the most part, personal injury lawsuits tend to arise from a claim of negligence. The individual or entity injured in the accident, “Plaintiff”, files a lawsuit against the individual or entity, “Defendant” who allegedly caused harm. Personal injury lawsuits resulting from claims of negligence tend to have two main components: liability and damages. Yet, in order to prevail in a suit for negligence, a Plaintiff must demonstrate the following: (1) a legal duty to use due care, (2) a breach of that duty, (3) a reasonably close, causal connection between that breach and Plaintiff’s resulting injury, and (4) actual loss or damage to Plaintiff. Wylie v. Gresch (1987) 191 Cal.App.3d 412. First, a finding of negligence rests upon a determination that the actor has failed to perform a duty of care owed to the injured party. Ronald S. v. County of San Diego (1993) 16 Cal.App.4th 887. This means that an individual or entity must act reasonably to avoid injuring others. When an injury occurs, a Plaintiff will generally argue that an individual or entity breached a duty owed to them. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Bremer Whyte Brown & O'Meara LLP

    AB5, Dynamex, the ABC Standard, and their Effects on the Construction Industry

    December 09, 2019 —
    Last year, we reported that the California Supreme Court in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court (2018) 4 Cal.5th 903 (“Dynamex”) adopted a new, pro-employment standard (the “ABC Standard”), which presumes a worker is an employee versus an independent contractor under California wage orders and regulations. Assembly Bill 5 (“AB5”) has now been passed by the California Legislature and signed by Governor Newsom. Bill AB5 codifies the ABC Standard and brings increased costs, administrative duties, and legal risks for hiring parties on multiple fronts, including, but not limited to:
    • Payroll taxes;
    • Meals, breaks and overtime policies and enforcement and premium pay;
    • Benefits;
    • Leave and PTO policies, requirements and enforcement;
    • Wage order violations;
    • Labor Code violations and Private Attorney General Actions (“PAGA”) claims;
    • Unemployment insurance; and
    • Workers’ compensation coverage, claims, and premiums.
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    Reprinted courtesy of Donald A. Velez, Smith Currie
    Mr. Velez may be contacted at

    California Court of Appeal Makes Short Work Trial Court Order Preventing Party From Supplementing Experts

    August 06, 2019 —
    Years ago I recommended to a client that we hire a construction defect expert in a case. The client, a thrifty fellow, responded, “But I thought you were the construction expert. Why do I need to hire another expert? A fair question and one that caught me flat footed. Whether I’m an “expert” or not can be debated, but I explained to the client that while I was an attorney whose practice focused on construction law, I was not someone who he would want to take the stand and testify about the engineering design and seismic stability of pilings. For that, he needed an expert. In construction litigation it’s not uncommon for parties and their attorneys to hire “experts.” There are even special rules set forth in the California Code of Civil Procedure for disclosing, supplementing and deposing experts, which basically provide as follows: 1. Demand for Exchange of Expert Information: After the court sets a trial date in a case, any party may demand that each party exchange information concerning the experts they intend to have testify at trial; Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Garret Murai, Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP
    Mr. Murai may be contacted at

    Insurer Not Entitled to Summary Judgment on Construction Defect, Bad Faith Claims

    October 07, 2019 —
    The federal district court denied the insurer's motion for summary judgment seeking to establish there was no coverage for construction defect claims and for bad faith. Country Mut. Ins. Co. v. AAA Constr. LLC, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115935 (W.D. Okla. July 12, 2019). Jeffrey and Tammy Shaver entered two contracts with AAA Construction for the construction of a garage and of a barn on their property. After construction was completed, the Shavers sued AAA Construction for building the garage over two high-pressure gas pipelines and the utility easements associated with them. They alleged AAA Construction was negligent for constructing over a working utility line. AAA Construction's insurer, Country Mutual Insurance Company (CMIC) denied coverage because the alleged faulty workmanship of AAA Construction did not constitute an "occurrence" under the policy. CMIC sued AAA Construction for a declaratory judgment that it had no duty to defend or indemnify. CMIC moved for summary judgment. 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