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    For Milford Delaware

    The Nightmare Scenario for Florida’s Coastal Homeowners

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    Leveraging from more than 5500 construction defect and claims related expert witness designations, the Milford, Delaware Building Expert Group provides a wide range of trial support and consulting services to Milford'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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    Milford, Delaware

    Like Water For Chocolate: Insurer Prevails Over Chocolatier In Hurricane Sandy Claim

    November 08, 2017 —
    Recently, a New Jersey Magistrate ruled that an insurer did not have to provide coverage for a chocolatier’s property damage and business interruption losses due to Hurricane Sandy. Madeline Chocolate Novelties Inc. (Madeline), a family-owned chocolatier in Queens Rockaway Beach, held a one-year all-risk policy with Great Northern Insurance (Great Northern). The policy contained a flood exclusion and a windstorm endorsement. When Hurricane Sandy hit in October 2012, Madeline suffered extensive damage and ceased operations during the ensuing holiday season. The chocolatier claimed $40 million in property damage and $13.5 million in business interruption losses and sought coverage under its policy. Great Northern paid just under $4 million and denied the remainder of the claim, citing the policy’s flood exclusion. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Afua S. Akoto, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C.
    Ms. Akoto may be contacted at

    Architect Not Responsible for Injuries to Guests

    September 01, 2011 —

    The Texas Court of Appeals has ruled, with one dissent, that the architectural firm that designed a home was not responsible to the injuries caused to guests when a balcony collapsed. Judge David Puryear wrote the majority opinion in Black + Vernooy Architects v. Smith.

    Black + Vernooy designed a vacation home for Robert and Kathy Maxfield in 2000. The Maxfields hired a general contractor to build the home. The general contractor hired a subcontractor to build a balcony; however, the subcontractor did not follow the architect’s design in building the balcony.

    A year after the house was completed; the Maxfields were visited by Lou Ann Smith and Karen Gravely. The balcony collapsed under the two women. Ms. Gravely suffered a broken finger, a crushed toe, and bruises. Ms. Smith was rendered a paraplegic as a result of the fall. They sued the Maxfields, the general contractor, and the architects for negligence. The Maxfields and the general contractor settled. A jury found that the architects held 10% of the responsibility. The architects appealed the judgment of the district court.

    The Appeals Court reversed this judgment, noting that “there has been no allegation that the Architects negligently designed the balcony or that the Architects actually created the defects at issue.” Further, “the Smiths allege that the defect was caused by the construction practices of the contractor and subcontractor when the balcony was not built in accordance with the design plans of the Architects.”

    The court found that even though the architects had a duty “to endeavor to guard against defects and deficiencies in the construction of the home and to generally ascertain whether the home was being built in compliance with the construction plans,” this duty did not extend to third parties.

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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Stop by BHA’s Booth at WCC and Support the Susan G. Komen Foundation

    May 12, 2016 —
    If you’re attending the annual West Coast Casualty Seminar at the Disneyland Hotel today and tomorrow, be sure to stop by the Bert L. Howe & Associates, Inc., booth and Sink a Putt for Charity. This year, participant’s efforts on the green will help benefit the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. As in years past, sink a putt in the BHA golf challenge and win a $25 Best Buy gift card, and for every successful putt made, BHA will make a $25 cash donation in the golfer’s name to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. New this year, BHA is hosting three Championship Rounds and during those periods BHA will double their charitable contributions. For every ATTEMPTED (sink or miss), BHA will make a $50 donation to Susan G. Komen, and for every putt MADE (sunk), the golfer will also win a $50 Best Buy gift card. Championship rounds are going on today between the times of 10:30am-10:45 am, 3:00pm-3:30pm, and 5:30pm-6:30pm. So be sure to get over to the BHA booth for your chance to support important cancer research as well as possibly taking home a nice gift card for yourself. BHA also wishes to thank Dave Stern for all of his hard work for the construction defect community in putting together this must go to seminar and for promoting such worthwhile charities each year. Read the court decision
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    The Anatomy of a Construction Dispute- The Claim

    December 02, 2015 —
    A new year brings with it promise and challenges. The promise is a relatively clean slate and the thought that 2015 will be a great year for construction professionals and those that assist them. The challenges come from the almost inevitable issues that can arise on a construction site with its many moving parts and enough potential pitfalls to make even the most optimistic construction attorney, contractor, subcontractor or supplier think that Murphy was an optimist. In order to assist with the potential challenges, this post will be the first in a series of “musings” on the best way to handle a payment dispute arising from a construction contract. This week’s post will discuss what the first steps should be once a payment dispute or claim arises. We’ll assume that you, as a construction contractor, have taken early advantage of the services of a construction lawyer and have carefully reviewed your contract for issues before signing that contract. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Christopher G. Hill, Law Office of Christopher G. Hill, PC
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at

    Pensacola Bridge Halted Due to Alleged Construction Defects

    July 21, 2018 —
    The Pensacola News Journal reported that cracks were discovered again in the Pensacola Bay Bridge, which caused construction of said bridge to be halted once more: “Cracks found in a portion of the concrete in the Pensacola Bay Bridge project have twice halted construction in the last several months, raising concerns about oversight and disclosure from the state, particularly in light of the Miami bridge collapse earlier this year.” The Florida Department of Transportation stated “that the cracks were found during a routine visual inspection of newly placed concrete in March,” according to the Pensacola News Journal. The $400 million project began in 2017 and was scheduled to be completed by 2020. Read the court decision
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    Legal Implications of 3D Printing in Construction Loom

    July 10, 2018 —
    Imagine a printer in the middle of a construction site programmed with a designer’s plans and specifications to build an entire home from scratch. As concrete is fed into the printing device, a technician hits enter on her computer and a 3D printer starts fabricating the structure’s walls and roof. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Aldo E. Ibarra, ENR
    ENR staff may be contacted at

    No Duty To Defend Additional Insured When Bodily Injury Not Caused by Insured

    July 26, 2017 —
    The court found there was no duty to defend a suit for bodily injury against the additional insured where the injury was not caused by the insured. Consigli Constr. Co. v. Travelers Indem. Co., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95339 (D. Mass. June 21, 2017). Consigli was the general contractor for a renovation project at a high school. Among the subcontractors was American Environmental, Inc., who was responsible for demolishing concrete floors within the existing structures, and Costa Brothers, who did the masonry work. Wellington M. Ely was an employee of Costa Brothers and worked as a mason on the project. Costa Brothers had a CGL policy with Travelers. As a subcontractor, Costa Brothers agreed to name Consigli as an additional insured on its policy. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly - Insurance Law Hawaii
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at

    Construction Law Advisory: Mechanical Contractor Scores Victory in Prevailing Wage Dispute

    September 03, 2014 —
    On August 27, 2014, the First District Court of Appeal weighed in on whether prevailing wages are required for public contracts in situations where work is performed in furtherance of the project but at a permanent offsite manufacturing facility that is not exclusively dedicated to the project. In Sheet Metal Workers' International Association, Local 401 v. John C. Duncan and Russ Will Mechanical, the project at issue was for a community college district where Russ Will was the HVAC subcontractor. The contract documents required contractors to pay prevailing wages but they did not limit where or how Russ Will would fabricate sheet metal required for the job. Russ Will used its existing fabrication facility to form the sheet metal. An employee of Russ Will filed a complaint with the DIR alleging he should have been paid prevailing wages for work related to the project. The worker fabricated sheet metal for the project but at Russ Will’s Hayward facility, not at the site. The DIR issued a coverage determination in which it concluded that Russ Will was required to pay prevailing wages for the offsite fabrication work associated with the project. The DIR's determination turned on whether Russ Will was exempt from the prevailing wage law as a material supplier. To qualify for the material supplier exemption, the employer must sell supplies to the general public and its fabrication or manufacturing facility must not be established for the particular public works contract or be located at the site of the public work. Following the DIR determination, Rush Will filed an administrative appeal. The department reversed its initial coverage determination, concluding that the offsite fabrication performed by Russ Will was not subject to the prevailing wage law. Reprinted courtesy of Steven M. Cvitanovic, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP and Jessica M. Lassere Ryland, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP Mr. Cvitanovic may be contacted at; Ms. Ryland may be contacted at Read the court decision
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