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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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    Tri-County Home Builders
    Local # 1073
    PO Box 420
    Marianna, FL 32447

    Westville Florida Building Expert 10/ 10

    Tallahassee Builders Association Inc
    Local # 1064
    1835 Fiddler Court
    Tallahassee, FL 32308

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    Building Industry Association of Okaloosa-Walton Cos
    Local # 1056
    1980 Lewis Turner Blvd
    Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547

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    Home Builders Association of West Florida
    Local # 1048
    4400 Bayou Blvd Suite 45
    Pensacola, FL 32503

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    Florida Home Builders Association (State)
    Local # 1000
    PO Box 1259
    Tallahassee, FL 32302

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    Columbia County Builders Association
    Local # 1007
    PO Box 7353
    Lake City, FL 32055

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    Northeast Florida Builders Association
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    103 Century 21 Dr Ste 100
    Jacksonville, FL 32216

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    Building Expert News and Information
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    WESTVILLE FLORIDA BUILDING EXPERT
    DIRECTORY AND CAPABILITIES

    The Westville, Florida 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 Westville'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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    Westville, Florida

    Eleventh Circuit Reverses Attorneys’ Fee Award to Performance Bond Sureties in Dispute with Contractor arising from Claim against Subcontractor Performance Bond

    February 27, 2019 —
    On October 26, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (the “Eleventh Circuit”) issued a decision which reversed an award of prevailing party attorneys’ fees to performance bond sureties in their dispute with a contractor arising from the contractor’s claim against a subcontractor’s performance bond. Had the lower court’s decision been affirmed, the performance bond sureties would have been able to recover prevailing party attorneys’ fees against the contractor even though they were not parties to the underlying subcontract and the subcontract did not contain a prevailing party attorneys’ fee provision. The underlying case is complicated and arose from the construction of Brickell CityCentre in Miami. Americaribe-Moriarty JV (the “Contractor”) asserted a claim against a performance bond procured by a defaulted subcontractor and issued by International Fidelity Insurance Company and Allegheny Casualty Company (collectively, the “Sureties”). The Sureties filed a declaratory judgment action against the Contractor in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida (the “District Court”), seeking a declaration that the Contractor failed to perfect its claim against the performance bond. Reprinted courtesy of Gary M. Stein, Peckar & Abramson and K. Stefan Chin, Peckar & Abramson Mr. Stein may be contacted at gstein@pecklaw.com Mr. Chin may be contacted at kschin@pecklaw.com Read the court decision
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    John Aho: Engineer Pushed for Seismic Safety in Alaska Ahead of 2018 Earthquake

    February 06, 2019 —
    The son of a pioneer bush pilot in Alaska, structural engineer John Aho spent decades working toward earthquake preparedness. He helped found a key seismic safety commission in the state, and serves on the City of Anchorage’s geotechnical advisory group. The fruits of his labor were clearly demonstrated on the morning of Nov. 30, when the magnitudes 7.0 and 5.7 earthquakes that struck the city caused limited structural damage, partly due to stringent building requirements. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Christine Kilpatrick - ENR
    Ms. Kilpatrick may be contacted at kilpatrickc@enr.com

    Where There's Smoke...California's New Emergency Wildfire Smoke Protection Regulation And What Employers Are Required To Do

    August 26, 2019 —
    California employers need to pay heed to the recently announced California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Cal/OSHA) emergency regulation related to their duty to protect employees from the potential harm caused by wildfire smoke. As of July 29, 2019, employers are required to actively monitor their local Air Quality Index (AQI) and take steps to protect their employees from the harmful particulate matter contained within wildfire smoke. Which Workplaces Are Impacted? The regulation applies to all workplaces exposed to wildfire smoke with an AQI level of 151 or greater (ranging from "unhealthy" to "hazardous"). "Exposed" workplaces are those that are not in enclosed buildings, structures, or vehicles with mechanical ventilation and the ability to close all windows and doors. Outdoor occupations including construction, agriculture, landscaping, maintenance, commercial delivery, and others that expose the worker to the outside air for more than one hour will be the most impacted by this new regulation, although firefighters engaged in fighting wildfires are expressly exempt from the statute. What If I Have A Potentially Exposed Workplace? Employers with outdoor workplaces that are exposed to wildfire smoke are required to monitor the AQI before each shift, and "periodically throughout the day," all to ensure that the Air Quality Index for PM2.5 (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 micrometers or smaller) remains below 151. This can be done by visiting certain governmental websites, including U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's AirNow website (www.airnow.gov), which allow for regular email alerts to be issued to the employer. An employer with a potentially exposed workplace must also set up a communication system capable of communicating to all affected employees (in a language readily understood) the status of wildfire smoke hazards. The communication system must also provide the employees a process to inform the employer of worsening air quality and/or any adverse symptoms that they may be experiencing (e.g., asthma or chest pain). Finally, employers are required to add to their Injury and Illness Protection Program (IIPP) the provision of effective training and instruction (i.e., approximately 15 minutes) regarding:
    1. the health effects of wildfire smoke;
    2. the right to obtain medical treatment without fear of reprisal;
    3. how employees can obtain the current AQI for PM2.5;
    4. the requirements of this regulation;
    5. the employer's communication system regarding wildfire smoke;
    6. the employer's methods for protecting employees from wildfire smoke;
    7. the importance, limitations, and benefits of using a respirator when exposed to wildfire smoke; and
    8. the proper use and maintenance of respirators.
    The Required Provision of Respiratory Protective Equipment Employers with exposed workplaces are required to provide effective NIOSH-approved respirators (e.g., N95 filtering facepiece respirators) when AQI for PM2.5 levels are 151-200 (unhealthy), 201-300 (very unhealthy), or 301-500 (hazardous). The N95 respirator typically costs less than a dollar per mask and can be easily purchased online. Employers are also required to clean, store, and maintain these respirators for times of need. Employees are free to decide whether to use a respirator when the AQI for PM2.5 level is between 151-500, although employers must be prepared to offer the equipment at an AQI level of 151 or higher. Use of the respirator by an employee exposed to an AQI for PM2.5 level that exceeds 500, however, is required by law. What Should Potentially Exposed Employers Do Now? Employers should immediately begin supplementing their IIPP platforms to include this regulation's prescribed training regarding wildfire smoke. Companies should also develop an adequate monitoring and communication plan regarding wildfire smoke hazards and effectively train their supervisors on the same. Finally, acquiring an adequate supply of N95 filtering respirators now will help ensure that employers are prepared for the next wildfire. Michael Studenka is a partner in Newmeyer Dillion's Labor & Employment practice group. His practice focuses on the life cycle of Employment law. Mike advises and trains companies on proactive measures to keep them protected and in compliance, and leverages his significant trial experience when faced with litigation. You can reach out to him at michael.studenka@ndlf.com. Read the court decision
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    Duty To Defend Construction Defect Case Affirmed, Duty to Indemnify Reversed In Part

    May 07, 2015 —
    The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's finding of a duty to defend, but reversed, in part, the insurer's duty to indemnify. Carithers v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 5540 (11th Cir. April 7, 2015). After discovering a number of defects in their home, the Carithers sued their homebuilder, Cronk Duch Miller & Associates. Cronk Duch's insurer, Mid-Continent Casualty Company, refused to defend.The parties entered into a consent judgment for $90,000 in favor of the Carithers. Cronk Duch then assigned to the Carithers the right to collect the judgment from Mid-Continent. The Carithers then sued Mid-Continent. Florida law applied. Mid-Continent has issued four policies to Cronk Duch from March 2005 to October 2008. The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment on the duty to defend issue. The underlying complaint alleged that the defects could not have been discovered until 2010, after the last policy period. The district court rejected Mid-Continent's argument that property damage occurred when it was discovered or when it reasonably could have been discovered. Therefore, summary judgment on the duty to defend was granted to the Carithers. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Insurance Law Hawaii
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at te@hawaiilawyer.com

    Contractors Can No Longer Make Roof Repairs Following Their Own Inspections

    July 02, 2018 —
    California law mandates that any person who conducts roof inspections for a fee can no longer effectuate the actual repairs to the same property. Effective January 1, 2018, Business & Professions Code Section 7197 (Unfair Business Practices) deems it to be an unfair business practice for a home inspector who charges a homeowner a monetary fee for inspecting the property, to perform or offer to perform additional repairs due to the inherent financial interest and conflict raised by identifying alleged defects necessitating repairs. The new law is a result of California AB 1357, which was signed into law on October 5, 2017. The goal of the new law is to disincentivize a roof inspector from creating a report for the sole purpose of obtaining a bid to perform those documented repairs. The roof contractor can perform repairs identified in their report only after a twelve month “cooling period” which provides the homeowner an opportunity to obtain multiple bids/estimates for repairs based upon the inspector’s report. The new law also discourages home inspectors from providing a list of contractors who provide monetary referral fees back to the home inspector upon receiving repair work from the homeowner based exclusively on the home inspection report. The California Business & Professions Code Section 7195(a)(1) defines a “home inspection” as a “non-invasive, physical examination, performed for a fee in connection with the transfer…of the real property…or essential components of the residential dwelling.” Home inspection includes “any consultation regarding the property that is represented to be a home inspection or any confusingly similar term.” Business & Professions Code section 7195(a)(2) further defines a “home inspection” as including energy efficiency and solar. A “home inspection report” is a written report prepared for a fee issued after an inspection. Business & Professions Code section 7195(c). It is noted that a home inspector does not have to be a licensed architect, professional engineer, or general contractor with a Class “B” license issued by the California Contractors State License Board, but “it is the duty of a home inspector who is not licensed as a general contractor, structural pest control operator, or architect, or registered as a professional engineer to conduct a home inspection with the degree of care that a reasonably prudent home inspector would exercise. Business & Professions Code section 7196. Reprinted courtesy of Jason Feld, Kahana & Feld LLP and Alex Chazen, Kahana & Feld LLP Mr. Feld may be contacted at jfeld@kahanalaw.com Mr. Chazen may be contacted at achazen@kahanafeld.com Read the court decision
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    The Complex Insurance Coverage Reporter – A Year in Review

    February 27, 2019 —
    Welcome to CICR’s annual review of insurance cases. Here, we spotlight five (actually, seven) decisions from the last year that you should know about, and five pending cases—all before state high courts—to keep an eye on. The choices were not always easy. That is because 2018 saw a number of notable insurance coverage developments. Among them was the “Restatement of the Law – Liability Insurance,” a nearly five hundred-page document that the American Law Institute (ALI) adopted after eight years and twenty-nine drafts. Already, much has been written about the ALI Restatement, including by us. There will be more to come. Going forward, we will continue to highlight significant examples where courts address its provisions. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of White and Williams LLP

    Subcontractors Essential to Home Building Industry

    February 14, 2014 —
    The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Eye on Housing reports that subcontractors are essential to the home building industry—a point that is often overlooked by those outside of the industry. According to the NAHB, “71 percent of those employed in the home building industry are subcontractors.” The average number of subcontractors used in single-family detached homes in 2012 was twenty-five, however larger builders used more subcontractors: “On average, builders who built more than 25 units used 32 subcontractors during 2012, compared to 23 for builders who built less than 25 units.” Read the court decision
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    Anti-Fracking Win in N.Y. Court May Deal Blow to Industry

    July 01, 2014 —
    New York’s cities and towns can block hydraulic fracturing within their borders, the state’s highest court ruled, dealing a blow to an industry awaiting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision on whether to lift a six-year-old statewide moratorium. The case, closely watched by the energy industry, may invigorate local challenges to fracking in other states and convince the industry to stay out of New York even if Cuomo allows drilling. Pennsylvania’s highest court issued a similar ruling last year, striking down portions of a state law limiting localities’ ability to regulate drillers. “This sends a really strong and clear message to the gas companies who have tried to buy their way into the state that these community concerns have to be addressed,” Katherine Nadeau, policy director for Environmental Advocates of New York, an anti-fracking group, said in a phone interview. “This will empower more communities nationwide.” Mr. Dolmetsch may be contacted at cdolmetsch@bloomberg.net; Mr. Klopott may be contacted at fklopott@bloomberg.net; and Mr. Efstathiou Jr. may be contacted at jefstathiou@bloomberg.net Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Chris Dolmetsch, Freeman Klopott and Jim Efstathiou Jr., Bloomberg