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    Petersburg, Alaska

    Alaska Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: HB151 limits the damages that can be awarded in a construction defect lawsuit to the actual cost of fixing the defect and other closely related costs such as reasonable temporary housing expenses during the repair of the defect, any reduction in market value cause by the defect, and reasonable and necessary attorney fees.

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    Southern Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association
    Local # 0240
    PO Box 6291
    Ketchikan, AK 99901

    Petersburg Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Northern Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association
    Local # 0225
    9085 Glacier Highway Ste 202
    Juneau, AK 99801

    Petersburg Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Kenai Peninsula Builders Association
    Local # 0233
    PO Box 1753
    Kenai, AK 99611

    Petersburg Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of Alaska
    Local # 0200
    8301 Schoon St Ste 200
    Anchorage, AK 99518

    Petersburg Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of Anchorage
    Local # 0215
    8301 Schoon St Ste 200
    Anchorage, AK 99518

    Petersburg Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Mat-Su Home Builders Association
    Local # 0230
    Wasilla, AK 99654

    Petersburg Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Interior Alaska Builders Association
    Local # 0235
    938 Aspen Street
    Fairbanks, AK 99709

    Petersburg Alaska Building Expert 10/ 10

    Building Expert News and Information
    For Petersburg Alaska

    Maryland Contractor Documents its Illegal Deal and Pays $2.15 Million to Settle Fraud Claims

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    Settling with Some, But Not All, of the Defendants in a Construction Defect Case

    Insurance for Defective Construction Now in Third Edition

    Disgruntled Online Reviews of Attorney by Disgruntled Former Client Ordered Removed from

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    Florida trigger

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    The California Legislature Passes SB 496 Limiting Design Professional Defense and Indemnity Obligations

    Loan Snarl Punishes Spain Builder Backed by Soros, Gates

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    California Posts Nation’s Largest Gain in Construction Jobs
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    The Petersburg, Alaska Building Expert 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. Drawing from this considerable body of experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to Petersburg'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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    Petersburg, Alaska

    Ways of Evaluating Property Damage Claims in Various Contexts

    February 18, 2020 —
    Potential damages in a lawsuit may come in many forms depending on the facts of the case. Common damages include medical expenses, loss of earnings, property loss, physical pain, and mental suffering. Of the many damages Plaintiffs may claim, one of the most prevalent and recognizable is property damage. This article briefly discusses these types of damages which fall under two major categories – Real Property and Personal Property. Broadly speaking, “real property” means land, and “personal property” refers to all other objects or rights that may be owned. Ballentine’s Law Dictionary defines “real property” as: “Such things as are permanent, fixed, and immovable; lands, tenements, and hereditaments of all kinds, which are not annexed to the person or cannot be moved from the place in which they subsist. . . .” (Ballentine’s Law Dict. (3d ed. 2010).) “Personal property” is defined as: “Money, goods, and movable chattels . . . . All objects and rights which are capable of ownership except freehold estates in land, and incorporeal hereditaments issuing thereout, or exercisable within the same.” (Id. (emphasis added).) Real Property Real property may be damaged or “harmed” through trespass, permanent nuisance, or other tortious conduct. The general rule is that Plaintiffs may recover the lesser of the two following losses: (1) the decrease in the real property’s fair market value; or (2) the cost to repair the damage and restore the real property to its pre-trespass condition plus the value of any lost use. (Kelly v. CB&I Constructors, Inc.) However, an exception to this general rule may be made if a Plaintiff has a personal reason to restore the real property to its former condition, sometimes called the “personal reason” exception. In such cases, a Plaintiff may recover the restoration costs even if the costs are greater than the decrease in the real property’s value, though the restoration cost must still be “reasonable” in light of the value of the real property before the injury and the actual damage sustained. Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Bremer Whyte Brown & O'Meara LLP

    Hudson River PCB Cleanup Lands Back in Court

    September 03, 2019 —
    As it previously had warned, New York state on Aug. 21 filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency seeking to reverse its certification that General Electric Co.'s removal of PCBs from the Hudson River was complete, despite the agency’s five-year review finding that the cleanup was not adequate to protect human health and the environment. Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Mary B. Powers, ENR
    ENR may be contacted at

    Ahlers Distinguished As Top Super Lawyer In Washington And Nine Firm Members Recognized As Super Lawyers Or Rising Stars

    August 10, 2020 —
    ACS is very honored and pleased to announce nine members of our firm were awarded the distinction of top attorneys in Washington. Our blog articles usually cover Construction Legal News, but we feel this is a newsworthy accolade to be shared with friends and clients. To become candidates to receiving the Super Lawyer nomination, lawyers are nominated by a peer or identified by research. After completing this first step in the process, Super Lawyer’s research department analyzes 12 indicators, such as experience, honors/awards, verdicts/settlements and others. As for the third step, there is a peer evaluation by practice area. Finally, for step four, candidates are grouped into four firm-size categories. In other words, solo and small firm lawyers are compared only with other solo and small firm lawyers, and large firm lawyers are compared with other large firm lawyers. The process is very selective and only 5 percent of the total lawyers in Washington are nominated as Super Lawyers. John P. Ahlers, one of the firm’s founding partners, was recognized as the Top Lawyer out of all Washington lawyers in the State. Mr. Ahlers stated that “It was humbling to receive this distinction, particularly considering the many talented Super Lawyers in the State and I am a ‘construction lawyer’ to boot! I am grateful for the confidence my many colleagues in the bar have in me, by honoring me with their vote”. Founding partner Paul R. Cressman Jr. and partner Brett M. Hill were both recognized as one of the 100-Best Lawyers in the State. Four other firm members are also recognized as Super Lawyers: Scott R. Sleight, Bruce A. Cohen, Lawrence S. Glosser and Ryan W. Sternoff. Two other firm members, partner Lindsay (Taft) Watkins and associate Scott D. MacDonald are also recognized as Super Lawyer Rising Stars, which recognizes attorneys either 40 years old or younger, or in practice 10 years or less. Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Joshua Lane, Ahlers Cressman & Sleight
    Mr. Lane may be contacted at

    Florida Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Homeowners Unaware of Construction Defects and Lack of Permits

    December 09, 2011 —

    The Florida Court of Appeals has ruled that a homeowner is not liable for defects in unpermitted alterations, reversing a lower court’s decision in Jensen v. Bailey. The Jensens sold their house to the Baileys. During the sale, the Jensens filled out a property disclosure statement, checking “no” to a question about “any improvement or additions to the property, whether by your or by others that have been constructed in violation of building codes or without necessary permits.”

    After moving in, the Baileys discovered several problems with the home. One involved a defective sewer connection leading to repeated backups. The Baileys also found problems with remodeling the Jensens had done in the kitchen, master bath, and bedroom. The remodeling work was not done with required permits nor was it up to code.

    The court noted that an earlier case, Johnson v. Davis, established four criteria: “the seller of a home must have knowledge of a defect in the property; the defect must materially affect the value of the property; the defect must not be readily observable and must be unknown to the buyer; and the buyer must establish that the seller failed to disclose the defect to the buyer.” The court found that the first of these criteria was crucial to determining the case.

    In the Johnson ruling, the then Chief Justice dissented, fearing that the courts “would ultimately construe Johnson’s requirement of actual knowledge to permit a finding of liability based on constructive knowledge,” quoting Justice Boyd, “a rule of constructive knowledge will develop based on the reasoning that if the seller did not know of the defect, he should have known about it before attempting to sell the property.” The Appeals Court concluded that the lower court hit this point in ruling on Jensen v. Bailey.

    Citing other Florida cases, the court noted that the Johnson rule does require “proof of the seller’s actual knowledge of the defect.” The court cited a case in which it was concluded that the seller “should have known” that there was circumstantial evidence was that the seller did know about the defects, as the seller had been involved in the construction of the home.

    In the case of the Jensens, the lower court concluded that they did not know that the work was defective, nor did they know that they were obligated to obtain permits for it. The Appeals Court found this one fact sufficient to reverse the decision and remand the case to the lower court for a final judgment in favor of the Jensens.

    Read the court’s decision…

    Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of

    Defining Catastrophic Injury Claims

    December 16, 2019 —
    How do we define circumstances and injuries that go beyond a typical claim and severely impact a person’s life? How do we characterize the types of claims where an individual’s enjoyment of life is affected in an extraordinary manner? Typically, attorneys refer to these types of cases as “catastrophic injury” claims. These are the type of personal injury claims where the health of an individual has been so seriously impacted that their life has been irreparably altered. Defining these claims legally is somewhat murky and case law has done little to provide attorneys with a specific definition of the term. However, a recent Workers Compensation Appeals Board ruling attempted to list factors in order to establish a catastrophic injury claim. These include:
    1. An intensity and seriousness of treatment received for an injury;
    2. The ultimate outcome when a person’s physical injury is permanent and stationary;
    3. Whether the severity of the physical injury impacts the person’s ability to perform daily activities;
    4. Whether the physical injury is closely analogous to one of the injuries specified in various statutes, including loss of a limb, paralysis, severe burns, or a severe head injury; and
    5. If the physical injury is incurable or progressive. Wilson v. State of California CAL Fire (5/10/19) 2019 Cal.Wrk.Comp. LEXIS 29.
    Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Bremer Whyte Brown & O'Meara LLP

    CSLB “Fast Facts” for Online Home Improvement Marketplaces

    August 20, 2018 —
    As more and more online home improvement marketplaces like Angie’s List come online, questions have arisen as to whether such online marketplaces must hold a contractor’s license. The California Contractor’s State License Board has put together a “Fast Facts” sheet to help online home improvement marketplaces navigate the ins and outs of contractor’s license requirements, salesperson requirements, and advertising requirements. The short answer is that these marketplaces do not need a contractor’s license as long as the customer is contracting directly with the listed contractors (not the marketplace). Here’s the slightly longer explanation: July 20, 2018 CSLB #18-10 CSLB Hopes to Clear Up Confusion about License and Contracting Requirements for Online Home Improvement Marketplace Companies SACRAMENTO – Over the past few months, the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) has been addressing emerging issues involving online marketplaces and contractor referral websites. In its most basic form, online marketplaces are e-commerce websites that link consumers to products and/or services that are provided by multiple third parties. In these situations the e-commerce operator processes the transactions. Many referral websites charge contractors for leads. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Garret Murai, Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP
    Mr. Murai may be contacted at

    Just When You Thought the Green Building Risk Discussion Was Over. . .

    May 25, 2020 —
    As a reader of Construction Law Musings, you no doubt realize that I am a big proponent of “green” or sustainable building. I have also been known to sound a bit like Eeyore when discussing the charge into the breach of green building without considering the potential risks. Thankfully, and despite some of the risk predictions made here (and elsewhere for that matter) there have not been but so many major court cases relating to these risks. However, as a recent article in ENR Magazine warns, this lack of litigation does not mean that you should let your guard down. Just because the economy, warnings by attorneys and others, and possible lack of financial incentive to sue have kept the litigation numbers down does not mean that the risks have gone away. LEED requirements, time horizons and other risks that have become evident during the process of vetting green building contracts and practices still must be dealt with in contracts and insurance policies. These risks are well laid out in the ENR article and in other places here at Musings so I won’t outline them in detail here. Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at

    Testing Your Nail Knowledge

    September 03, 2014 —
    Tools of the Trade provided “ten things you probably don’t know about nails.” For instance, “[I]n 2013 the U.S consumed 629,716 tons of steel nails.” Frane, the author of the article, said that if that “many nails were melted down and cast into a block of solid steel, the block would cover the area of a football field to a depth of 45’.” Another fact is that only 21% of nails used in the U.S. were made in the U.S. Furthermore, the leading U.S. supplier of nails is Mid Continent Nail Corporation, and they are located in Poplar, Missouri. Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of