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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

    Wilton Manors Florida Building Expert 10/ 10

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

    Wilton Manors Florida Building Expert 10/ 10

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

    Wilton Manors Florida Building Expert 10/ 10

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

    Wilton Manors Florida Building Expert 10/ 10

    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

    Wilton Manors Florida Building Expert 10/ 10

    Northeast Florida Builders Association
    Local # 1024
    103 Century 21 Dr Ste 100
    Jacksonville, FL 32216

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    Building Expert News and Information
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    The Wilton Manors, 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 Wilton Manors' 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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    Wilton Manors, Florida

    Specific Source of Water Not Relevant in Construction Defect Claim

    June 28, 2013 —
    The Nebraska Court of Appeals has concluded that a lower court came to the correct conclusion in a construction defect case involving water intrusion. The Hiatts built a home in North Platte, Nebraska, in in 2004 which they sold to the Oettingers in May, 2006. Shortly thereafter, the Oettingers started experiencing problems with water intrusion and contacted the Hiatts. The Hiatts responded by replacing the septic lift. Subsequently, the Oettingers landscaped their yard, which they allege was done with the assistance of the Hiatts. The water problems continued and “the parties took substantial remedial measures, including excavating the sidewalk and inspecting the downspouts.” The water problems continued, getting worse and requiring increasingly aggressive responses. The Oettingers then had a series of inspections, and they hired the last of these inspectors to actually fix the water intrusion problem. At that point, they filed a lawsuit against the Hiatts alleging that the Hiatts “breached their contact by constructing and selling a home that was not built according to reasonable construction standards,” and that they “were negligent in the repair of the home in 2009.” During the trial, Irving Hiatt testified that they “tarred the outside of the basement and put plastic into the tar and another layer of plastic over the top of that.” He claimed that the problem was with the Oettingers’ landscaping. This was further claimed in testimony of his son, Vernon Hiatt, who said the landscaping lacked drainage. The Oettingers had three experts testify, all of whom noted that the landscaping could not have been the problem. All three experts testified as to problems with the Hiatts’ construction. The court concluded that the Hiatts had breached an implied warranty, rejecting the claim that the water intrusion was due to the landscaping. The Hiatts appealed the decision of the county court to the district court. Here, the judgment of the lowest court was confirmed, with the district court again finding a breach of the implied warranty of workmanlike performance. The Hiatts appealed again. They alleged that the district court should not have held a breach of implied warranty existed without proving the source of the water intrusion, and that damages should have been apportioned based on the degree to which the Oettingers’ landscaping and basement alterations were responsible. The appeals court dispensed with the second claim first, noting that “they do not argue this error in their brief nor do they explain how or why the trial court should have apportioned damages.” The court also noted that although the Oettingers made a negligence claim in their suit, the case had been decided on the basis of a breach of implied warranty. The appeals court upheld the Oettingers’ claim of a breach of implied warranty. In order to do this, the court noted that the Oettingers had to show that an implied warranty existed, that the Haitts breached that warranty, damage was suffered as a result, and that no express warranty limited the implied warranty. That court noted that “the record is sufficient to prove that the Hiatts breached the implied warranty in the method in which they constructed the basement” and that “this breach was the cause of the Oettingers’ damages.” The court concluded that the Oettingers “provided sufficient evidence that the Hiatts’ faulty construction allowed water, whatever its source, to infiltrate the basement.” The court rejected the Hiatts’ claim that the Oettingers’ repairs voided the warranty, as it was clear that the Hiatts were involved in carrying out these repairs. The court’s final conclusion was that “the evidence in the record supports the trial court’s factual finding that the Hiatts’ flawed construction caused water damage to the Oettingers’ basement.” Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    When Does a Claim Against an Insurance Carrier for Failing to Defend Accrue?

    November 07, 2012 —
    The following is an update on our December 20, 2010 article regarding United States Fire Insurance Company v. Pinkard Construction Company, Civil Action No. 09-CV-01854-MSK-MJW, and its underlying dispute, Legacy Apartments v. Pinkard Construction Company, Case No. 2003 CV 703, Boulder County Dist. Ct. That article can be found here. The present action, St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co., et al. v. The North River Insurance Co., et al., Civil Action No. 10-CV-02936-MSK-CBS, encompasses the coverage battle that ensued between Pinkard’s insurers, Travelers Indemnity Company of America (“Travelers”) and United States Fire Insurance Company (“USFI”), following the settlement of Legacy’s construction defect claims against Pinkard. A short history of the underlying facts is as follows: In 1995, Pinkard constructed the Legacy Apartments housing complex in Longmont, Colorado. Following construction, Legacy notified Pinkard of water leaks associated with various elements of construction. Legacy ultimately filed suit against Pinkard in 2003, and would go on to clarify and amend its defect claims in 2004, 2006, and again in 2008. Following Pinkard’s notification of Legacy’s claims, USFI provided a defense to Pinkard, but Travelers refused to do so, on the purported basis that Legacy’s allegations did not implicate property damage under the terms of Travelers’ policy. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David M. McLain, Higgins, Hopkins, McLain & Roswell, LLC
    Mr. McLain can be contacted at

    White House Plan Would Break Up Corps Civil-Works Functions

    July 18, 2018 —
    As part of a sweeping federal government reorganization proposal, the White House has recommended shifting the Army Corps of Engineers’ civil-works operation to the Dept. of Transportation and the Dept. of the Interior. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Tom Ichniowski, ENR
    Mr. Ichniowski may be contacted at

    Nevada Bill Aims to Reduce Legal Fees For Construction Defect Practitioners

    March 21, 2011 —

    Assemblyman Ira Hansen and twelve additional members of Nevada’s Assembly are sponsoring Assembly Bill 285. AB 285 Revises provisions governing an award of attorney’s fees in causes of action for constructional defects. Existing law generally provides that a claimant may recover reasonable attorney’s fees as part of the claimant’s damages in a cause of action for constructional defects. (NRS 40.655)

    This bill removes this provision and instead authorizes a court to award reasonable attorney’s fees to a prevailing party involved in such a cause of action if an independent basis for the award exists pursuant to existing law which authorizes a court to award attorney’s fees in certain circumstances, or Rule 68 of the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure, which provides for the payment of reasonable attorney’s fees by an offeree who rejects an offer and subsequently fails to obtain a more favorable judgment.

    In an AP report published in Business Week it is suggested that the target objective of legislators centers on what it refers to as Nevada’s "Rampant construction defect lawsuits".

    According to Business Week "The suits bring in hundreds of millions of dollars for lawyers and have put construction companies out of business. Hansen says fewer construction firms mean higher prices for Nevada consumers."

    Click Here To Read Full Text and Revisions of Assembly Bill 285

    Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Allen, TX Board of Trustees Expected to Approve Stadium Repair Plans

    July 30, 2014 —
    Construction plans to fix the $60 million high school football stadium in Allen, Texas, which has been closed due to cracks discovered in the structure, is expected to be approved by the Allen School Board of Trustees, reported KHOU. The construction company and architectural firm both stated “they will cover the costs to fix everything -- which could run between $600,000 and $1 million.” The school board plans on using “$2 million in bonds for the construction, renovation, acquisition and equipment of school facilities,” and will then seek to recover the amount of repairs “from the parties responsible for defects and/or construction problems and failures.” Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Another Reason to Always Respond (or Hensel Phelps Wins One!)

    September 16, 2019 —
    Here at Construction Law Musings, Hensel Phelps Construction Co. is best known as the company that got whipsawed between indemnity rules and the lack of a statute of limitations for state agencies. However a recent case out of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia gave them a win and illustrates, once again, that failing to appear or respond is never a good option. In Hensel Phelps Construction Co. v. Perdomo Industrial LLC, the Alexandria, VA federal court looked at an arbitration award entered for Hensel Phelps and against Perdomo under the Federal Arbitration Act. The facts of the case showed that Perdomo “double dipped” into the deep end of refusal or failure to respond. First of all, the contract required arbitration and any award was enforceable in any state or federal court having jurisdiction. Based upon this language, Hensel Phelps filed a demand for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association against Perdomo and its surety, AAA sent notice to both Perdomo and Surety, and. . . neither responded or appeared at what was ultimately 8 days of hearings. After hearing Hensel Phelp’s evidence and the total lack of defenses from Perdomo and Surety, the panel issued an award in favor of Hensel Phelps, finding Perdomo LLC in default and holding Perdomo LLC and Allied World jointly and severally liable in the amount of $2,958,209.71 and Perdomo LLC individually liable in the amount of $7,917,666.30 plus interest. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at

    Mediation Confidentiality Bars Malpractice Claim but for How Long?

    April 01, 2015 —
    The California Court of Appeal yesterday upheld application of the mediation confidentiality statutes to bar a malpractice action which was based on the attorneys’ actions during mediation. John Amis vs. Greenberg Traurig LLP, et al. (3/18/15) Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, No. B248447. Inferences about the attorneys’ conduct during mediation were also determined to be unusable in an attempt to circumvent the privilege. Plaintiff, John Amis, filed an action against his former attorneys, Greenberg Traurig, alleging they were negligent by “causing” him to execute a settlement agreement during a two-day mediation which converted a corporate obligation into a personal obligation. The causes of action included breach of fiduciary duty, malpractice and breach of a conflict waiver, in support of which Amis alleged that the attorneys failed to advise him of the risk involved in entering into the settlement agreement, “drafted, structured and caused it to be executed” during mediation and breached a conflict waiver by failing to negotiate a settlement that provided him with financial security. During plaintiff’s deposition he admitted that all of the advice he had received in connection with the settlement agreement occurred during mediation and that all the damages incurred were from his execution of that agreement during mediation. Greenberg Traurig filed a motion for summary judgment based upon plaintiff’s deposition admissions and argued that since the mediation confidentiality statutes barred each side from presenting testimony as to what occurred during mediation, the plaintiff could not establish the elements of his claims and they could not defend against those allegations. The trial court agreed with the defense, granting summary judgment. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Jennifer K. Saunders, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP
    Ms. Saunders may be contacted at

    Indicted Union Representatives Try Again to Revive Enmons

    June 22, 2016 —
    The Boston Globe reports that the Massachusetts AFL-CIO has filed a friend of the court brief seeking to have the indictment of five members of the Teamsters Union in Boston dismissed. The Teamsters members are facing federal charges that they extorted non-union contractors and owners that employed non-union contractors. The Massachusetts AFL-CIO is arguing that under the Supreme Court’s 1972 decision in U.S. v. Enmons the Teamsters alleged conduct was in furtherance of a legitimate union objective and, therefore, no illegal. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Wally Zimolong, Supplemental Conditions
    Mr. Zimolong may be contacted at