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    California Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: SB800 (codified as Civil Code §§895, et seq) is the most far-reaching, complex law regulating construction defect litigation, right to repair, warranty obligations and maintenance requirements transference in the country. In essence, to afford protection against frivolous lawsuits, builders shall do all the following:A homeowner is obligated to follow all reasonable maintenance obligations and schedules communicated in writing to the homeowner by the builder and product manufacturers, as well as commonly accepted maintenance practices. A failure by a homeowner to follow these obligations, schedules, and practices may subject the homeowner to the affirmative defenses.A builder, under the principles of comparative fault pertaining to affirmative defenses, may be excused, in whole or in part, from any obligation, damage, loss, or liability if the builder can demonstrate any of the following affirmative defenses in response to a claimed violation:

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    The San Diego, California 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 San Diego'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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    San Diego, California

    Florida Condo Collapse Victims Reach $1 Billion Settlement

    May 23, 2022 —
    Victims of the South Florida condominium collapse that killed 98 people last year reached settlements totaling almost $1 billion with defendants including the developer of an adjacent luxury tower, engineers and a law firm for the condo association. The massive deal was cobbled together through multiple agreements before a state court hearing Wednesday in Miami, according to Harley S. Tropin, one of the lead plaintiffs’ lawyers who had sued on behalf of survivors and victims’ families. He said he disclosed the settlements in court. “We are pleased to have resolved this case with the defendants to get what we think is a very fair recovery to help end the litigation and allow the victims to attain some means of attempting to move forward from this horrific tragedy,” Tropin said in an emailed statement. The 12-story Champlain Towers South condominium building in Surfside, Florida, collapsed June 24, triggering multiple lawsuits and prompting state and federal probes. A focus was the development of the Renzo Piano-designed Eighty Seven Park high-rise next door to the Champlain Towers. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Erik Larson, Bloomberg

    Another Worker Dies in Boston's Latest Construction Accident

    June 20, 2022 —
    Boston Police and the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating a June 9 early morning construction accident that killed a worker in Boston’s Seaport district— the latest in a spate of fatalities at worksites across the city's metro area during the past 18 months. Reprinted courtesy of Scott Van Voorhis, Engineering News-Record ENR may be contacted at Read the full story...

    Storm Eunice Damage in U.K. Could Top £300 Million

    February 28, 2022 —
    Hundreds of thousands of homes are still without power due after Storm Eunice tore through the country, while insurers have indicated the clean-up could cost more than £300 million. At least four people were killed in the UK and Ireland during one of the worst storms in decades, with a gust of 122mph provisionally recorded at the Needles on the Isle of Wight, which, if verified, would be the highest ever recorded in England. Energy Networks Association (ENA) has said nearly 400,000 homes had no electricity on Friday night, with network providers recording 156,000 disrupted customers for UK Power Networks, 120,000 for Scottish & Southern, 112,000 for Western Power, 6,000 for Northern Power and 260 for Electricity North West. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Bloomberg

    Justice Dept., EPA Ramp Up Environmental Justice Enforcement

    May 30, 2022 —
    The U.S. Justice Dept. plans to launch a new office within its Environment and Natural Resources Division that will focus on enforcing environmental laws in communities that are most affected by pollution and environmental-related crimes, administration officials said May 5. Reprinted courtesy of Pam McFarland, Engineering News-Record Ms. McFarland may be contacted at Read the full story...

    Contract Disruptions: Navigating Supply Constraints and Labor Shortages

    January 24, 2022 —
    The biggest worries in today’s economy—supply chain disruptions, labor shortages and the worst inflation in decades—are creating big headaches in the construction industry. What’s worse, large projects underway are often based on contracts hammered out pre-pandemic, before the uncertainties and disruptions that spread around the globe with COVID-19. Construction firms find themselves executing on contracts signed when the potential for delayed timelines and rising costs seemed more remote. A recent report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce finds almost all contractors (93%) say they are experiencing a shortage of an important product such as steel, lumber or copper. A rising number of companies on commercial projects (54%) also cite difficulty finding skilled workers. Grant Thornton clients, among them some of the country’s biggest construction companies, report that sourcing materials and hiring workers is a bigger challenge today—and more expensive—than at any other time in recent decades. Reprinted courtesy of Greg Ross and Tim Lynch, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved. Read the full story...

    Florida Appellate Courts Holds Underwriting Manuals are Discoverable in Breach of Contract Case

    February 14, 2022 —
    Recently, Florida’s First District Court of Appeals handed down a victory for policyholders when it affirmed a Circuit Court’s order compelling an insurer to produce its underwriting manual in a breach of contract action. In People’s Trust Insurance Co. v. Foster, No. 1D21-845 (Fla. 1st DCA Jan. 26, 2022), the policyholder, Mr. Foster, filed a breach of contract claim against his insurer, People’s Trust, after People’s Trust failed to pay his insurance claim for damage caused to Mr. Foster’s home due to a leaking water pipe. People’s Trust denied Foster’s claim because “Foster’s pipe damage predated the policy’s inception.” During discovery Foster requested People’s Trusts’ underwriting manual(s) in effect at the time his policy was issued or renewed. People’s Trust objected to the request. In response, Foster filed a motion to compel production of the underwriting manual(s). After a hearing, the Circuit Court granted Foster’s motion and People’s Trust sought a writ of Certiorari from the First District Court of Appeal to quash the order compelling production. Reprinted courtesy of Andrea DeField, Hunton Andrews Kurth and Adriana A. Perez, Hunton Andrews Kurth Ms. DeField may be contacted at Ms. Perez may be contacted at Read the full story...

    New York Appellate Court Restores Insurer’s Right to Seek Pro Rata Allocation of Settlements Between Insured and Uninsured Periods

    March 28, 2022 —
    In Liberty Mut. Ins. Co. v. Jenkins Bros., 2022 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1846 (App.Div. 1st Dept. March 22, 2022), the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, issued a ruling reversing the trial court and holding that an insurer was entitled to allocate a portion of asbestos claim settlements it negotiated to time periods when its dissolved insured was without coverage. The decision overturns a trial court ruling that the insurer was barred from denying liability for the full amount of the settlements because the insurer had become the “real party in interest” as a result of a prior court order directing it to accept service of process on behalf of a dissolved insured. The trial court held that the insurer stood in the shoes of the insured for all purposes by accepting service and negotiating settlements, and was therefore estopped from denying liability for the full amount of the settlements. Reprinted courtesy of Patricia B. Santelle, White and Williams LLP and Frank J. Perch, III, White and Williams LLP Ms. Santelle may be contacted at Mr. Perch may be contacted at Read the full story...

    No Duty to Defend Construction Defect Claims

    May 16, 2022 —
    The court determined the insurer had no duty to defend construction defect claims asserted against the insured. Pa. Nat'l Mut. Cas. Ins. Co. v. River City Roofing, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38226 (E.D. Va. March 3, 2022). Branch Builds, Inc, was the general contractor for Shock Valley View Genesis, LLC ("Genesis") in charge of constructing apartments. River City Roofing was a subcontractor for all roofing, aluminum and composition siding at the project. River City contracted and warranted its materials and work, agreed to indemnify Branch, and agreed to make Branch an additional insured under its CGL policy. After completion of the project, Genesis reported defects in the construction. The roof, aluminum and composition siding allowed water intrusion and property damage to the apartments. Branch repaired and compensated Genesis for all damage done to the apartments. Branch then sued River City and another subcontractor and demanded judgment of $3,000,000. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at