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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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    Building Expert News and Information
    For San Diego California

    Phillips & Jordan Awarded $176M Everglades Restoration Contract

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    The San Diego, California Building Expert Group is comprised from a number of credentialed construction professionals possessing extensive trial support experience relevant to construction defect and claims matters. Leveraging from more than 25 years experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to the nation's most recognized construction litigation practitioners, Fortune 500 builders, commercial general liability carriers, owners, construction practice groups, and a variety of state and local government agencies.

    Building Expert News & Info
    San Diego, California

    Learning from Production Homes of the Past

    August 13, 2014 —
    Big Builder recaps production homes by decade, beginning with Sears Catalog Homes of the 1920s. They cover major events, original prices, intended buyers, geographic areas, designer/developers, styles/floor plans, and how they broke ground. Big Builder chose to highlight Greenbelt Row Houses for the 1930s, Levittown Tract Homes for the 1940s, as well as additional home builders for each decade through 2010. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Tenth Circuit Finds Insurer Must Defend Unintentional Faulty Workmanship

    December 09, 2011 —

    Applying Colorado law, the Tenth Circuit found a duty to defend construction defect claims where the faulty workmanship was unintentional. Greystone Const. Inc. v. National Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 22053 (10th Cir. Nov. 1, 2011). A prior post [here] discussed the Tenth Circuit’s certified question to the Colorado Supreme Court in this matter, a request that was rejected by the Colorado court.

    In two underlying cases, Greystone was sued by the homeowner for damage caused to the foundation by soil expansion. In both cases, the actual construction was performed by subcontractors. Further, in neither case was the damage intended or anticipated. Nevertheless, National Union refused to defend, contending property damage resulting from faulty construction was not an occurrence.

    Relying on a Colorado Court of Appeals case, General Security Indemn. Co. of Arizona v. Mountain States Mut. Cas. Co., 205 P.3d 529 (Colo. App. 2009), the district court granted summary judgment to National Union.

    On appeal, the Tenth Circuit first considered whether Colorado legislation enacted to overturn General Security could be applied retroactively. The statute, section 13-20-808, provided courts "shall presume that the work of a construction professional that results in property damage, including damage to the work itself or other work, is an accident unless the property damage is intended and expected by the insured."

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    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Insurance Law Hawaii. Mr. Eyerly can be contacted at

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    Application of Efficient Proximate Cause Doctrine Supports Coverage

    January 06, 2012 —

    Relying on the efficient proximate cause doctrine, the court determined coverage potentially existed for damage caused by water. Union Sav. Bank v. Allstate Indem. Co., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134398 (S.D. Ind. Nov. 21, 2011).

    The Tods purchased property that was mortgaged by Union Savings. The Tods obtained a Landlords Policy for the property from Allstate. When the Tods were in default on their loan, Union Savings notified them that foreclosure proceedings would commence. Union Savings sent an appraiser to the property who discovered water in the basement. Water and electricity to the building were off. Union Savings notified Allstate and later filed a formal claim under the mortgagee clause in the Landlords Policy. This clause stated, "A covered loss will be payable to the mortgagees named on the policy declaration. . . ."

    Allstate denied coverage, citing exclusions for water damage.

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    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Insurance Law Hawaii. Mr. Eyerly can be contacted at

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    Enforceability Of Subcontract “Pay-When-Paid” Provisions – An Important Update

    June 15, 2020 —
    A California Court of Appeals opinion published earlier this month brings a change to payment bond claims brought by unpaid subcontractors and suppliers. The decision (Crosno Construction, Inc. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America) places limitations on a payment bond surety’s ability to rely on subcontract “pay-when-paid” language, stating that a payment provision typically found in subcontracts is contrary to the “reasonable time” statutory requirement and will not be enforced. This represents a major shift in California construction payment bond claim rights. Plaintiff Crosno Construction, Inc. (“Crosno) was a subcontractor to general contractor Clark Brothers (“Clark”), who was principal on a public works payment bond issued by Travelers. The owner was a public agency district (“District.”) Crosno had completed most of its subcontract work when a dispute between District and Clark arose, causing the project to stop. Crosno then sought payment through a payment bond claim against Travelers. Travelers denied the claim, relying on the subcontract’s payment provisions and asserting the defense that it had no obligation to pay on the bond claim because the litigation between Clark and the District had not yet reached its conclusion. Subcontract. The subcontract between Clark and Crosno contained a “pay-when-paid” provision stating that Clark would pay Crosno within a reasonable time after receiving payment from the District. In defining “a reasonable time,” the subcontract language provided that the time for payment “in no event shall be less than the time [Clark] and [Crosno] require to pursue to conclusion their legal remedies against [District] or other responsible party to obtain payment.” Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Patrick McNamara, Porter Law Group
    Mr. McNamara may be contacted at

    Beware of Design Pitfalls In Unfamiliar Territory

    September 05, 2022 —
    $250,000. $1.5 million. $12 million. These are the litigation damage estimates that plaintiffs sought to recover against design professionals who failed to familiarize themselves with local site conditions. Reprinted courtesy of Brad Shefrin, Engineering News-Record ENR may be contacted at Read the full story... Read the court decision
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    Triggering Duty to Advance Costs Same Standard as Duty to Defend

    April 11, 2018 —
    Interpreting Hawaii law, the federal district court held that the standard for triggering the duty to defend is the same as the standard for the duty to advance costs under a D&O policy. Maui Land & Pineapple Co. v. Liberty Ins. Underwriters, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56949 (D. Haw. April 3, 2018). The underlying plaintiffs sued 22 defendants, including Maui Land Pineapple (MLP) and Ryan L. Churchill, concerning a residential development project known as The Ritz-Carlton Club & Residences. The underlying complaint alleged that MLP "directly or indirectly through wholly owned subsidiaries exerts control" over Kapalua Bay, LLC, the defendant in the underlying lawsuit. Kapalua Bay, LLC was created as a joint venture of which MLP held 51%. Churchill was a senior executive officer of MLP, President of Kapalua Bay, and an executive officer of Kapalua Realty, which participated in all aspects of the Project, such as financing, development, and construction. In their second amended complaint, the underlying plaintiffs alleged nine Counts against the defendants, including breach of fiduciary duty. It was alleged that defendants were not transparent and kept owners in the dark regarding the status of the project. Several allegations named Churchill individually and described his alleged material misrepresentations to the underlying plaintiffs regarding the project's financing. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Insurance Law Hawaii
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at

    The Uncertain Future of the IECC

    January 11, 2021 —
    For this week’s Guest Post Friday, I welcome an old friend and past Guest Post Friday contributor, Mike Collignon. Mike is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Green Builder® Coalition. He engages in national and state-level advocacy and publishes regular content for Green Builder® Media. Mike is also the Chair of the WERS Development Group and has served as the moderator or host for Green Builder® Media’s Impact Series webinars from 2012–present. The following is an op-ed based on the author’s attendance at public meetings and conversations with inside sources. “I think that you will all agree that we are living in most interesting times.” – Joseph Chamberlain, 1898 2020 was a historic year, both for reasons we currently comprehend and for reasons we may only understand in retrospect. Depending on how an upcoming ICC Board decision goes, it may prove to be the year the IECC met its demise. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at

    Arizona Rooftop Safety: Is it Adequate or Substandard?

    October 01, 2014 —
    The Wall Street Journal reported that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently “took the unprecedented step of formally proposing to take over construction workplace safety in Arizona because it said the state doesn't require proper fall protection.” OSHA’s deputy director, Jordan Barab, told the Wall Street Journal, “We told them we did not think their standard…was at least as effective as ours.” However, “[a] spokeswoman for Arizona's state workplace enforcement agency countered that the state's requirements are adequate, adding that it will respond to the federal notice ‘as appropriate.’” Read the court decision
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